The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently visited Sierra Leone to accept a role as international advocate for the country.
Our reporter Saidu Bah went about the streets of Freetown to sound the views and comments of ordinary Sierra Leoneans about their expectations of his visit to Sierra Leone.
Alpha B Timbo
I expect much from the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair because Sierra Leone got her independence from the Great Britain and he knows the country’s problems and challenges in terms of development and capacity building of the middle level manpower which contributed to the current development in the country.
I hope that, he will now focus on bringing more development to the country through investment and other areas that will focus on youth employment and provision of basic necessities like adequate water supply, electricity and housing facilities. He must also help improve the economy and boost the agricultural sector.
I want the former Prime Minister now visiting Sierra Leone to help the country morally and financially so that the people can improve their living standards and also promote developmental programs that will benefit the people and the country as a whole.
I also believe that, his visit came out of the love and passion he has for the country and I hope all the good plans he has in mind will be implemented for the development of the country particularly in the area of Agriculture, health and education.
Aiah Simon Brima
The visit of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Sierra Leone is timely and welcomed by most Sierra Leoneans, but the greatest challenge affecting the people now is hunger and poverty.
I hope Tony Blair will also solicit support for the provision of adequate food supply through the empowerment of farmers to embark on mechanized farming that will help peasant farmers embark on sustainable farming that can feed all Sierra Leoneans and the world over.
Mesheck U Kargbo
One of the major areas I want the former Prime Minister to intervene is the promotion of access to quality education that prepares children and the youths to become future leaders of Sierra Leone who will help to develop the country rapidly with sustainability.
I knew him since he was Prime Minister and followed extensively his development plans. I want him also to facilitate the linking of Colleges and Universities of Sierra Leone to that of Colleges in the United Kingdom which will help to give accreditation to our colleges and also improve their learning capacity.
I want him to put practicalities in to his developmental plans for Sierra Leone because most of the people are illiterate and cannot contribute to development and I end with this educational quotation of Alvin Toffler “the illiterate in the 21st Century are not those who cannot read or write but those who do not want to learn, relearn and unlearn”.
My expectation of the visit of the Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to bring money and development to Sierra Leone, so that we can move from hunger and poverty to sustainable development of the country.
My major area of concern is the empowerment of women to participate in national development with special reference to gender mainstreaming and capacity building of the grass root. I hope his visit will not only be another banquette or talking forums followed by gowning but development is needed at all levels.