Alfred Kamanda is a young Sierra Leonean Lawyer, feminist, writer, activist, and social media commentator. He is renowned for his vibrant and patriotic approach to issues that contribute to national cohesion, democratic consolidation, amelioration of poverty, and advocating for global peace. Alfred had brief stints working in such non-profitable organizations as the National Commission for Democracy, the Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law and the Church Relief Services Sierra Leone.
At age 17, he won the Anti- Corruption Commission National Essay Competition for his outstanding Essay: “How Corruption affects me”. Alfred has volunteered in many causes and he has lent his effort, skills, and financial resources to such humanitarian causes as providing relief to compatriots that were affected by the Ebola Outbreak and those currently affected by the Corona pandemic. He is a strong advocate of Human Rights and the Fundamental freedoms of persons with a special focus on the rights and liberties of women and girls, proper family planning to ameliorate poverty, and democratic good governance.
In 2012, Alfred was selected among a group of young Sierra Leoneans who attended the Anglophone West Africa Youth Integrity Camp in Lagos, Nigeria to help formulate policies and programs that will help address corruption in the Sub-region.
In 2018, Alfred was selected and awarded as one of the 50 Most Influential Young Sierra Leoneans by ILEAD. He Worked as a Component Manager at the Ministry of Youth Affairs. He is an Alumnus of YALI Network and one of the few young people who attended the 2nd Pan African Youth Summit in Ethiopia. Alfred is currently a practicing Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone attached at Brewah and Co. (Mahiteh Chambers) 24 Pademba Road Freetown. He has an interest in Commercial/business law, land and property law, family law, and constitutional law
In an exclusive interview with us at Salone Messenger in our new series: ‘’IF I BECOME PRESIDENT’’ which is intended to flesh out opinions of Sierra Leone’s young emerging leaders, young businessmen and women and ordinary Sierra Leoneans in the street of Freetown on the future of a United Sierra Leone, here is what he said, will be the first thing he will do if he becomes the President of Sierra Leone, why and how.
What will be the first thing you will do when you become president?
‘’Our country is too small to be this divided. It has come out very clear that we are all living in scattered or pocket communities serving our parties, tribes, regions and other cleavages. We don’t think salone anymore! We only have the vision to see a country where all are equal, where the rule of law is supreme and democratic Institutions allowed to operate independently when we are in opposition. The moment we are elected to run the affairs of the state all beautiful aspirations will vanish and we embrace all of those things we have criticized while in opposition. This is because we see ourselves more as a clan than as a country.
If we are united as a country we will accomplish great things. If we are united as a nation, we will defeat the dependency syndrome and defeat chill penury in a short while. When we all unite around a single agenda of pushing our country first, in a twinkle of an eye Sierra Leone will progress.’’
‘’1. My Cabinet and other Presidential appointments will have a national face! I am one man who believes so much in merit, excellence, results, character, and integrity. So men will be recruited to serve in my cabinet on the basis of merit, competence, results, integrity, and not on party, tribal or regional lines. Political patronage will hold no place in my government. I will ensure each region is represented and they feel a part of my government.
2. I will hold national events like conferences, workshops in an informal way with especially young people to help us understand the importance of putting the country first over our individual interests. To understand what we all stand to gain if we decide to support the President and his team where support is needed and to constructively criticize were needed to help us all achieve the best of returns.
3. Schools, religious houses will all play a great role in this unification drive. Catch them young to embrace nationalism, patriotism and a cohesive nation. Schools will teach young people to imbibe the culture of us all living as a united people and a united nation.
Religious houses can also be a ground for teaching us the need to be united, to push for a progressive nation, and to give our leaders the much-needed support where it is needed.
4. Recruitment into the Civil service will be left completely and entirely in the hands of professionals. It is not a political party thing! And members of the Civil and public service will receive pieces of training, refresher training courses on how to provide support to the government especially political heads in the different ministries and parastatals. This will provide them the opportunity to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
5. Appointments made to Embassies and High Commissions will be left entirely for professionals in the field of international relations and Diplomacy. Men and women who have served at the global level or in the foreign ministry. These should be seasoned professionals who stand not to lose their jobs when power changes hands. Such men will continue to serve as long as they remain committed and dedicated to service. As long as they remain loyal to the green, white, and blue.
6. Developments should be evenly distributed. I will ensure development projects are distributed evenly base on the needs of the people. No one region, area, tribe should be allowed to feel too powerful or left out in the development trajectory.
7. The Unification drive will only be possible if we review the 1991 constitution. We have to ensure my powers as President are cut down drastically especially in a state of emergency, the concepts of nationalism and patriotism are well outlined for citizens to clearly understand that we all have no option but support the Presidency to achieve the national goals. Supporting the President means we can also criticize and provide workable solutions to addressing the many challenges.
8. A truth and reconciliation commission that is locally driven will be established right across the country. Where we all will meet and speak the truth, ask for forgiveness, forgive those who have wronged us in many ways, and put together a national document on how to stay as a cohesive nation. How do we forge ahead in a manner that the country first becomes the mantra? How do we practice the Ubuntu philosophy? How do we support the presidency even when we don’t love the President? How do we stay united around a national agenda? Yes, we can do it and the time is now! And this document we will revisit after every two years.’’