THE EDITOR, Sir:
As we celebrate 50 years of Independence this year, the big question on everyone's mind is whether we have achieved anything in our 50 years of independence.
To be fair, we have had improvements in several areas since independence, including health care, foreign direct investments, infrastructure, sports, tourism, etc.
Humans for Equality Leadership and Prosperity (HELP), however, believes several factors have negated the positive impact and equal distribution of resources for the people of the country, which should have been ultimately for their benefit.
1. The lack of accountability in our country.
2. The lack of sustained follow-up actions.
HELP believes that for far too long civil society has sat back and allowed for a high level of misappropriation of true and real development. There has been wastage of funds and misguided policies and visions that have retarded our nation's real potential.
We can no longer stand for it. High levels of corruption (87th out of 187 countries Transparency International report 2010), high unemployment (14.1 per cent according to STATIN as of January 2012) and seemingly perceived impotent justice system are some of the negatives that continue to impede our nation's advancement.
We have failed to ensure that all leaders and members of civil society are held responsible for their actions. HELP believes that our youthful population is under threat, as this hostile and less-than-enabling environment poses serious challenges for their advancement and our national development. They constitute about 32 per cent of the population and another 11.5 per cent are adolescents and youth of 18-24 years. All talk and lack of action? What does our future really hold?
We also have developed some uncaring attitudes as a people. In our culture, there seems to be a great level of disaffection and intolerance if one is seen or perceived as different, whether it be as a result of a disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic background (rich or poor), etc.
Our family values and attitudes have diverted and do not readily reflect the 'Christian values' that we claim to uphold and promote. Again, this case of 'working' the tongue, but no action.
HELP calls on a collective course of accountability and action that will reduce social exclusion and protect and guide our children and ensure equal distribution of resources and opportunities for our people.
Together, we the people will lead the charge to ensure that for the next 50 years we will start the process to ensuring that Vision 2030 and beyond becomes our mission.