SIERRA LEONE — African revolutionaries and socialists from across the world are scheduled to travel to Sierra Leone later this year to witness a groundbreaking historic ceremony with the launching of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) of Sierra Leone.
The APSP will be the first official revolutionary socialist party to be formed in the history of Sierra Leone by African workers and peasants as part of efforts to advance a struggle for control of state power in the country.
The event is scheduled to take place from November 7-10, 2009 in Makeni in northern Sierra Leone and is expected to bring together socialists, progressives and political activists from across Sierra Leone into a national consultative conference to discuss the need for socialism in the country and launch the African People’s Socialist Party as a party of the workers and peasants.
The Interim Committee charged with the responsibility of building the APSP in Sierra Leone says the process is not only limited to a struggle for a workers led state in the country, but one that is tied to an international revolutionary movement for the liberation and unification of African people worldwide under an all African socialist government.
“Our struggle is guided by the philosophy, principles and vision of the African Socialist International (ASI) under whose directive and discipline the party’s activities and program will be enhanced and coordinated,” ASI’s Director of Organization, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah says, adding that the decision to launch the APSP is of critical significance to the entire African liberation movement.
It represents a significant development in the struggle of the African workers for state power not only in Sierra Leone but also throughout Africa, Chernoh Alpha Bah said, while noting that Africa is entering a decisive moment in world history that requires an international revolutionary capacity to respond to the challenges of the new period.
Analysts in Sierra Leone and elsewhere have observed that the development of an African revolutionary workers party in Sierra Leone will have serious implications for the middle class political elite who have over the years toyed with the welfare of the people and thrived on the politics of ethnic division and population control and fragmentation.
Sierra Leone is rich in mineral and energy resources but years of organized neocolonial exploitation and oppression, institutionalized political dictatorship and the chronic corruption of a selfishly bankrupted middle class political elite have ruined every sector of the country’s development for almost 50 years now since its so-called “independence.”
The vast majority of the country’s population is disenfranchised and barred from running for higher political office. Youths, constituting 85 percent of the population, are largely unemployed, unskilled and suffer from lack of opportunities. These youths are politically marginalized and excluded from decision-making, policy formulation and implementation.
The United Nations Human Development Index over the last few years reported that Sierra Leone is “one of the worst places to be on this planet.” Other United Nations Reports also rank Sierra Leone as the least developed nation in the world with the highest infant and maternal mortality rates, a life expectancy that is below 40 years and an economy that is heavily controlled by multinational corporate agencies and international financial institutions.
APSP set to reverse trend of deepening misery for masses in Sierra Leone
The Interim Committee to build the APSP says it is determined to reverse the trend by contending for state power against the neocolonial middle class political elites in Sierra Leone with a revolutionary national democratic program that calls for a worker-peasant led government with an intention to nationalize strategic sectors of the economy, expand the public service, increase minimum wage and better conditions of service for workers and provide adequate social services to upgrade the standard of life of the people.
It also says a national agrarian program for the development of the agricultural sector to provide jobs for youths; micro-finance schemes for women; income and pesticides for farmers and peasant communities are central to the revolutionary national democratic agenda.
The decision to launch the APSP in Sierra Leone follows a regional conference of the African Socialist International (ASI) that was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone about a year ago, which ended with a commitment to wage a struggle against imperialist and neocolonialist domination of Africa and its vast mineral and energy resources.
The conferences was described as the largest socialist gathering to occur in Sierra Leone since the 1930s attracting participants from across West Africa and beyond.
Several representatives of African revolutionary movements and organizations from Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada and South America have again expressed willingness and determination to attend the event and express solidarity with the efforts of African workers and peasants in Sierra Leone to build a revolutionary party committed to African unity and liberation.
The leadership of the African Socialist International says the launch of a revolutionary socialist party to provide leadership for the struggle of the African workers and peasants in Sierra Leone is one of the most significant political events to occur in Africa in recent times.