In 2007 Komba Kpakiwa joined the thousands of retirees that call Southern Delaware their home when he moved from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Milford, Delaware. In this respect his life mirrors the growing number of retirees choosing to settle in Milford from surrounding states, but upon further reflection, Komba’s life is anything but just another statistic.
Komba Kpakiwa was born and raised in the small village in Sierra Leone, Africa known as Kainkordu. Living over half of his life in the United States, Komba has now made the decision to return to his homeland and run for a position in the Parliament in Sierra Leone. Advocating for rural development, health infrastructure investment and job creation in his home country, Komba will campaign to win the election for Constituency #26 of the Kono District.
Komba moved to the United States at the age of 24 to pursue an educational career that he could not have received in Sierra Leone. He received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs and PhD. Candidacy in Public Policy and Public Management and Organization Theory. Acquiring all of his academic achievements in the State of Pennsylvania (Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University, respectively), Komba spent his career working for the Pennsylvania government as a Staff Economist, Policy Analyst and Grant Manager between the years of 1977-2007.
After he retired from the State of Pennsylvania in 2007, Komba moved to Milford, Delaware to spent time with his wife Carolee and enjoy some peaceful living. In 2009 Komba received word that the Paramount Chief of the Chiefdom where he was born had died and an election would be held for his replacement. Komba decided to run for the office and came in second out of six candidates for the position.
“When I returned home, I discovered highway construction projects all over the place,” commented Komba. “Dr. President Earnest Bai Koroma is asking people abroad to come back home and help Sierra Leone’s future.”
In the years following his election run, Komba’s supporters continued to ask him to return home and run for a seat in Parliament under President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2012. A country rich in resources such as oil, gold and diamonds, Sierra Leone has had a violent history but Komba believes that President Bai Koroma is a man that can change Sierra Leone’s future by focusing on social and economic reforms.
“Dr. Koroma is a very progressive, democratic President; he encourages people not to just criticize from abroad, but to go back and help,” commented Komba. “I believe that as a member of Parliament, I can help him reform the country by sharing the prosperity.”
With a life of comfortable retirement ahead of him, Komba has decided to forgo the luxuries of the United States in search of prosperity for his native country. The Parliamentary election will be held on November 17, 2012 and in Komba’s eyes will determine the path forward for Sierra Leone.
“Many people ask me why I do not stay here and retire,” commented Komba. “God gave me the opportunity to be educated in the Western world and acquire high positions in the government here. When I went home and saw the needs of my country I decided I can do more returning home than I could here in the United States.”