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AU, ECA hold joint Capacity Building meeting for Sierra Leone

AU, ECA hold joint Capacity Building meeting for Sierra Leone thumbnail

The African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on the 3rd and 4th July, 2012 concluded a joint meeting on the Government of Sierra Leone’s Capacity Building for Results in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  (Photo: l-r Ambassador Bangali and Dr. Kamara)

The overriding objective of the meeting was to support member states efforts to undertake results based on public sector reforms; to facilitate greater measurability, accountability and openness for public service operations; support the institutionalization of results based management leading to continuous improvement in efficiency, effectiveness and delivery of public service in Africa.

The reason why the Commission and ECA decided to use Sierra Leone as a pilot country for the project was based on the following concrete considerations: Sierra Leone has emerged from a traumatic civil war and she is in the process of being rebuilt politically, physically and institutionally; the country has demonstrated its potential as an emerging democracy after successful elections in 2007; His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma soon after taking office launched the Agenda for Change which outlines the Government’s programmes to transform the country into a middle-income country over the medium term; and in 2011 Sierra Leone successfully submitted itself to the African Peer Review mechanism and is keen to implement the recommendations contained in the report that will enhance performance delivery.

A two man delegation from the Office of the President led by Dr. Sheku G. Kamara, Presidential Advisor on Strategy and Research and Mr. Abdul-Rahman Sowa, Director of Operations in the President’s Office, were in Addis Ababa to strategize and hold final consultations with the Commission and ECA in a bid to kick start the project.

In his welcoming remarks, the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, His Excellency Mr. Erastus Mwencha underscored the importance of the reasons why Sierra Leone was selected as a pilot case for the scheme adding that the country’s leadership is so committed that it has submitted itself to the African Peer Review Mechanism.

“A lot of partners are ready to support the programme. Two important institutions are working with the project viz, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,” he said.

His Excellency Mr. Abdallah Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa opined that the guiding principle of the project is to ensure the process of economic growth and development in the continent.

Mr. Hamdok further reechoed that Sierra Leone has a committed leadership pointing out that for the transformation to take place, institutional building process should be in place.

l-r Mr Abdul Rahman Sowa, Ambassador Bangali, and Dr. Kamara

Sierra Leone’s Envoy to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Andrew Gbebay Bangali gave an in-depth background on the conceptualization and inception of the project.

Ambassador Bangali recalled that in October 2011 the Vice President His Excellency, Samuel Sumana on behalf of President Koroma jointly launched the project with the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Mwencha in Freetown.

He said he was glad Sierra Leone was chosen as a pilot country because the President is keen seeing results, adding that he was pleased that the Kenyan Government is involved in the programme.

Dr. Sheku Kamara, Presidential Advisor on Strategy and Research in the President’s Office gave an overview on the Agenda for Change which is the country’s growth, development and transformation plan after years of war and political instability.

He spoke about President Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity which has seven pillars and also has a timeline of five years from 2013 to 2017 with the principal focus on social services, economic development and transforming the lives of the people.

Director of Operations in the President’s Office, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Sowa spoke about the President’s performance management system.

He further said that President Koroma’s speeches are made on informed decisions unlike his predecessors who were just playing with the Queen’s language.

In summary, Mr. Sowa, stated that Sierra Leone was not a strategically focused country before the 2007 elections that ushered in the administration of President Koroma.

The meeting was also attended by Madam Juster Ngoroi from the Office of the Prime Minister of Kenya; Dr. Fareed Arthur, a Political Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Mr. Guillermo Manglle, Development Officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

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