The center of the capital city of SL, Freetown, can well be renamed as chaotic center, a street one can barely walk through between the hours of 8am and 9pm, let alone drive. Which is due to a range of resolvable issues, but one that stands out the most is the notorious street trading which no government seems to be able to adequately address. One cannot blame the poor retailers because they are only doing what is required to make ends meet, what is lacking here is visionary leadership.

Street Fight - Freetown

Take for instance Conakry, where the center of the city is so open that visitors and citizens can enjoy the beauty of their city, while Madina is made available for business. Another typical example i came across today is the Kenema Shopping Centre (pictured below), this centre is such a decent place for shopping.

One that can well be reflected upon as template to address the chaos commonly known as Sani Abacha street (freetown city centre). Establishing a basic market centre will enable smooth business activities for all, permit easy access to and from the city centre, increase productivity by way of time saving, reduce congestion so that people will actually be able to travel from one part of the city to the other without spending 5hours, government departments will be able to operate at ease.

Considering the maximum security prison (pa Demba road prison) which is located within 2km to the state house, Parliament House, banks & other very important government and private businesses. It’s my recommendation that the government relocates this prison to juey old army barrack. A location perfect to house all the inmates for obvious safety reasons. Obviously it cost to relocate the prison, on that note the pa Demba road prison can be rehabilitated to become a shopping mall. Funds generated from there can be used to expand the juey prison which is located miles away from the city centre.

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Additionally, he government in collaboration with Freetown city council may offer incentives to private investors by way of offering them free lands where they can build shopping centres & consider lower tax for them. Doing so will increase the potential for investors to construct shopping malls thereby reducing the confusions in the city.

I wonder why the Freetown mayor is so scared of constructing a shopping centre for people to conduct daily business activities? i guess that’s a million dollar questions or just a political nightmare; i will let you be the judge!! But we need a visionary leader not just a dormant politician. I therefore call on pres Koroma’s consideration of this recommendation.

Aiah Thomas
Sierra Leonean based in Australia