Sierra Leone is a country from decades of civil war that claimed the lives of many children and young people. The need for peace, and ensuring that our leaders are held accountable is essential in building a United Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone’s emerging leader Thomas Moore Conteh is the first son in a family of four boys. He was born in the mid-80s in a small but beautiful town known as Gbendembu, Bombali District, North of Sierra Leone. He hails from a humble Christian family with both parents’ teachers.
Like many other young people in Sierra Leone, he grew up in a society that experienced the horrors of decades of civil war that left many Sierra Leoneans without families and places to call home. His parents implanted in him values of empathy, love, respect, hard work, and the fear of God.
He holds a BA in Linguistics and Political Science, Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone in 2010 and also a Law Degree (LLB Hons) in 2014 from the same institution.
His passion for advocating for the masses didn’t just stop at mobilizing people and resources, In November 2016, Thomas Moore Conteh and other likeminded Sierra Leoneans co-founded Citizens Advocacy Network (CAN).
CAN is a civil society organization that promotes the ideals of human rights, rule of law, and democratic good governance in Sierra Leone. He is the current Executive Director of CAN.
Through CAN, Thomas Moore Conteh has championed a number of advocacies bordering on human rights and rule of law. Quite recently, he selflessly championed a peaceful protest on behalf of disadvantaged students of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Many sierra Leoneans see him as one of the trusted voices in our country.
As a young man with huge potential, he has occupied several leadership positions including but not limited to, Secretary General of Western Area Baptist Youth Association (2006), President of Bai Bureh Hall FBC (2008), Chief Electoral Commissioner FBC 2009) and Spokesperson for National Union of Sierra Leonean Students NUSS (2012).
Thomas Moore is a recipient of several national and international awards and honors. The most prominent Awards are: the 50 Most Influential Young Sierra Leoneans Award in 2017, the 100 Most Outstanding Sierra Leoneans Award 2018, 100 Most Influential Young Sierra Leoneans Award in 2019, Youth Ambassador 2019 and the Most Outstanding Civil Society Activist 2019.
In an exclusive interview with us at Salone Messenger in our new series: ‘’IF I BECOME PRESIDENT’’ which is intended to flesh opinions of Sierra Leone’s young emerging leaders and those in the street of Freetown on the future of a United Sierra Leone, here is what he said will 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?
‘’There is no gain saying the fact that Sierra Leone has been gravely divided along regional, ethnic and political lines. This division has dangerously undermined our peace and national cohesion and has set us aback. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, the 11 years of civil war in Sierra Leone was fueled by endemic tribal and regional politics among other factors.
Due to the war, thousands of lives were lost, properties worth billions of Leones were destroyed, poor citizens rendered homeless and our beloved nation’s developmental trajectory halted. At a time when our counterparts in West Africa and Africa were moving towards positive history we were busy destroying ourselves. We are still wallowing at the lower levels of the human developement index.
Over two decades after the war ended and a peace accord signed, we still battle with the vices of tribal and regional politics. Our nation is still divided in itself. Job placements, appointments, transfers, promotions, demotions, dismissals within the civil and public service are most often done against the backdrop of regional, tribal and political considerations. We continue to experience a vicious circle.
It therefore, goes without saying that there is need for deliberate and conscious steps to be taken to bridge the gap and foster a true spirit of peace national cohesion.’’
‘’In order to successfully build a peaceful and cohesive state, I will endeavor to implement the following among others:
▪️Establish a cross party committee to develop a national development roadmap. The said document will constitute the wishes and aspirations of the people.
▪️Run a government of national unity where all political parties will feel part of the governance process. This could be achieved through cross party appointment in cabinet and other strategic positions.
▪️Allow all state institutions like the Judiciary, Parliament, and the Police to operate independent of undue external interference.
▪️Job placements, appointments, promotions, transfers, demotions, dismissals within the public and civil service will be freely and fairly carried out.
▪️Equitable distribution of resources (infrastructure, economy, social amenities etc.) across the country. Protect human rights and uphold the rule of law.’’