By: Uko-obong Efiok
There’s a popular saying that a star fish has no hiding place. Applied to human birth and existence, excellence cannot be limited by continent, color or race. It shines and is seen even beyond the globe. This is the story of Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, an African son from the West African State of Sierra Leone. I came in contact with Dr Kamara in 2018 during Sierra Leone Presidential election where he contested for the office of President under the platform of the APC. He lost but I have been following him in my search for African gold in human form in my agitation to have a pool of African intellects who can stand out and develop African states.
As a blogger and Publicist that promote African contents and personalities, my deeper attention was drawn in late November 2019 by Alex Smith, a Sierra Leonean friend base in Germany to Dr Kamara, a man I have literally described as an African gold in the soil of Sierra Leone. Alex Smith was attracted by a certain political story I wrote about his country and so he added a perspective which conclusively demonstrated that in matters of Politics and Economics, Humanity and Capacity, Samura Kamara is a rare asset in Africa and Sierra Leone. So many citizens of Sierra Leone understand this and should therefore support and canvass more support for him as he re-contest for the seat of President of Sierra Leon in 2023.
Dr Samura Kamara is a respected Sierra Leonean Politician of this era. He was born in April 30, 1951 in Kamalo, Karene District, North-Western Province of Sierra Leone Republic and became Presidential Candidate of All Peoples Congress (APC) in the 2018 Presidential election in Sierra Leone.
He has worked for Sierra Leone in many sectors and added value to the existence of the country. Dr Kamara was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone from 2012 to 2017; Minister of Finance and Economic Development from 2009 to 2013, Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2009, Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance during President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah’s administration.
During his reign as the country’s financial secretary, Samura Kamara used his position to advocate for the merger of the Sierra Leone’s Income Tax Department (ITD) with Custom and Excise Department (CED) resulting in the creation of National Revenue Authority. This led to effective collation and tracking of the revenue of the country and proper allocation for development.
Each of his appointment was a result of the achievements he recorded previously and the prospects that beckoned. In 1994, Samura Kamara was appointed by the world Bank as Programme Manager for its Structural Support Programme to the country during the military and war period in Sierra Leone.
He doubled as Secretary of State, Finance in early 1996 and served as Financial Secretary. He has also been Governor of Bank of Sierra Leone, Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the All Peoples Congress (APC ) Administration led by the former President of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. He was the pivot of both economic growth and political stability of his country in the era of rebuilding Sierra Leone after her devastating Civil war.
As an Economist of high repute, his commitment to reforms to strengthen the economy as Finance Minister saw real average GDP growth of 5.2% per annum, the highest his country had witnessed before then.
As Finance Minister with concern for the poor and less priviledge, he ensured implementation of programmes that resulted in poverty incidence falling from 66% in 2004 to 53% in 2011. Upon assumption as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he as lead technocrat, played a vital role in the negotiation team that won debt cancellation for Sierra Leone in 2007.
This brought serious relief to the economy of the country given that the burden of loan repayment had been lifted off the shoulders of the struggling State.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, he signed and implemented Joint Cooperation Agreements and Bilateral Memoranda of Understanding with China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, South Korea and the United States of America. If one finds a new economic growth and a surging diplomatic engagement and better relations between Sierra Leone and international communities, it is because of this deal which was a product of the Kamara foresight.
He also strengthened bilateral relations through establishment of Embassies and Consulates in strategic geographical locations to promote Sierra Leone’s interest, including in South Korea; United Arab Emirates; and relocation of the Mission in Tripoli, Libya to Cairo, Egypt. Plans are now being implemented for the establishment of resident diplomatic mission in Kenya. No country is an island. No country can survive alone. Dr Kamara has done so much in establish economic, financial and diplomatic links between Sierra Leone,his country and the rest of the world.
He has contributed so much to the growth of Africa. Samura Kamara has chaired the African Caucus constituency meetings for two consecutive years. In his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sierra Leone, he served as a chairperson of Ministerial Meetings of the African Union C10 committee on the Reform of the United Nations. He also Chaired the African Union (AU) Candidatures Committee to promote African leadership in high profile global positions. During his tenure as the chairperson of African Caucus constituency, Dr Samura Kamara utilized his experience as a renowned Pan-African technocrat and guided negotiations which later resulted in Africa getting a 3rd seat on the World Bank Executive Board. He has on several occasions chaired the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), which is the continental body’s most prominent council that is charged with ensuring peace and security in Africa.
Dr Samura Kamara is a humanist and philanthropic in nature. He cares for others and looks for every opportunity to add value to the living condition of individuals and communities. From his personal resources, Kamara has sponsored electrification of Kamalo Community and supported education in the Community by giving scholarships to hundreds of students in the area. That is unprecedented but integral character of this 21 at century Politician.
Being a former influencial program manager for the World Bank in the country, Economist Samura Kamara facilitated and coordinated international support for the implementation of Government priority programmes in the Agenda For Prosperity, mobilized and coordinated international support during the Ebola scourge and the recent mudslide and flood disaster in Freetown.
Dr Samura Willson Kamara is the face of change and GoodLife for Sierra Leone. Judging from his antecedents, Sierra Leone as a country has a man with broad shoulders and human feelings that shall translate to better life for all Sierra Leonians home and abroad given an opportunity to lead the country.
Dr Kamara is such a great asset not only to his country, Republic of Sierra Leone, but to entire African Continent base on his experience, exposure and Political pedigree. Sierra Leonean at home and in diaspora should support Dr Kamara for the seat of President come 2023. That looks very reasonable thing to do in the face of internal and global challenges facing Sierra Leone now.
Uko-obong Efiok is an African Blogger and Publicist at African Report Files ( ARFs Blog)