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22nd July 2018

"If You Refuse Change, Your Future is Dead," Dr. Kandeh Yumkella Advises

By Malcolm King (27/07/17) 

Ex- SLPP Dr. Kandeh Yumkella has advised Sierra Leoneans that change is inevitable and must be ready for it for a bright future.


Erstwhile United Nations Under Secretary General and the UN Secretary General‘s Special Representative on Energy for All, Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (pictured) has warned that if Sierra Leoneans refuse to elect people to positions of trust without checking their records, they would be worse than current leadership of the country.

The former Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) made the admonition on 19th July, 2017 when delivering his third public lectures to students and pupils at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown.

In his keynote address, Kandeh Yumkella expressed hope that the youths, who converged on Miatta Conference Centre in droves, were looking for more knowledge in order to excel and to be the best through education that was the theme of the public lectures.

According to Kandeh Yumkella, whose announcement to suspend his bid for the flag-bearer of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) a fortnight ago shocked the entire nation, education is about the students and pupils and their children who deserve much better than them. He reminisced the good old days when education was of better standard in the country than today.

“We teach to find knowledge… you will be part of the discussion as how we should make a change as change agents,” the former UNIDO Director General enthused.

He defined Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explained its underlying principles which he stressed that they should not in any way be compromised.

Kandeh Yumkella explained that the problems of climate change in the world have been difficult to tackle because most countries in the world have been very dishonest about using their natural resources. He added that a country can develop but it should make sure that its natural resources were not destroyed.

Dr. Yumkella, who joined the UN system in 1996, averred that in management at every level, if you don’t incest in it, you cannot change it. He also educated the audience on 2030 Agenda for Development and its benchmarks for which government should be held accountable, adding that education, which was the theme of the public lectures, is truly the key to prosperity.

He warned that if Sierra Leoneans refuse to elect people to public offices without checking their records, such elected people would be worse than the current regime. The former UN guru urged that students and pupils must change things now, adding that as a free man after suspending his bid for the flag-bearer of the opposition SLPP, his purpose is to transform Sierra Leone.

“A coalition of progressives is Plan B,” Dr. Yumkella disclosed, while he appealed to the audience to be part of that coalition given the rate of unemployment among majority of Sierra Leonean youths. 

He also emphasised the importance of gender balance for which women should be included in designing policies for national development.

On the allegations by the Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Bangura that he was moving around telling world leaders that President Ernest Bai Koroma had promised him faithfully that he would be his successor, Dr. Yumkella retorted that he would not respond to the Minister until the President speaks on the issue before he would respond.

He expressed serious doubt over claims made by Mohamed Bangura that he was a university graduate. The eloquent former UN doyen bragged that he started speaking to scores of Presidents around the world before the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) acceded to power on Monday 7th September, 2007.


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