African People’s Socialist Party Sierra Leone to hold founding conference November 16-18, 2009 in Freetown; New workers party will contend for State power

This month the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) will be launched in Sierra Leone. The new workers party will be established during a 3-day conference to be held from November 16 -18, 2009 at the British Council Hall in Freetown.

The APSP will be the first official socialist party to be formed in the history of the country. This revolutionary workers party will contend with the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC) for control of the state. Organizers say that the APC and SLPP have ruined all aspects of the country’s development in their combined 50 years of nearly unchallenged monopoly of power.

The APSP promises an end to the ethnic division, regional balkanization and fragmentation that has left Africa vulnerable to the exploitation of its rich natural resources by outside interests. They want to use Sierra Leone’s supply of the world’s finest diamonds and other resources to solve the country’s pressing problems, such as the world’s highest infant and maternal mortality rates, a life expectancy below 40 years, the worst health and education services and a nearly complete absence of infrastructural development.

The APSP’s “Revolutionary National Democratic Program” calls for the nationalization of strategic sectors of the economy, expansion of the public service, increasing minimum wage and better conditions of service, an agrarian program for farmers, youth employment and provision of social services to better the condition of life of the people.

According to the organization’s convener, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, “the APSP is making a break from the usual narrow ethnic-groupings masquerading as political parties in Sierra Leone. It is introducing issue-oriented programs into the political terrain and equally giving voice to the aspirations and desires of the workers and peasants whose energies and strengths have been used by neocolonialist forces for their own selfish upliftment.”

Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is an award-winning journalist, who has built the Africanist Movement into a popular force for change in the region. He declares that, “The future can only belong to the African workers and poor peasants if we build a party for ourselves that has the ability, strength and capacity to lead our struggle for socialist democracy and self-determination, a party that will effectively embody and mirror our collective spirits and aspirations to fight against neo-colonialism and imperialism not only in Sierra Leone but throughout the African world.”

The 3-day conference will include guest presentations by African Socialist International (ASI) Chairman Omali Yeshitela and ASI Secretary General Luwezi Kinshasa, who says that, “The establishment of the APSP in Sierra Leone is an exciting development in our worldwide struggle for African unity and national self-determination. It rejects neo-colonialist Pan-Africanism and replaces it with African Internationalism, which puts the African working class at the helm of our struggle for black power.”

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