NEC/AfDB meet President Koroma
The 2010 Annual Report of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has been presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House.
Making the presentation, NEC Chairperson Dr. Christiana Thorpe said the year 2010 was rewarding and successful in the area of the professional development of the Commission, disclosing that thirteen management level staff received training outside Sierra Leone. She also informed President that nine senior management staff and two Commissioners served as Facilitators and Guest Speakers at international workshops, as well as on election observer missions.
Dr. Thorpe also informed the President that a total of one hundred and twenty-one local facilitators were trained country-wide for the INEACE programme out of which, comprising thirty four NEC and sixty-seven non-NEC staff. She pointed out that research undertaken by NEC staff on inter-staff dialogue activities demonstrated how such activities have contributed to sustaining peace and provided a clearer insight in the electoral processes for political players in the country.
She thanked President Koroma , Government and Non Governmental Organizations for the assistance to the Commission, pleading for their continuous support to further enhance the activities of the Commission.
Accepting the Report, President Koroma commended the Commission for maintaining its position as an institution that always present their report at the beginning of every year, describing it as a reflection of standards being maintained.
The President expressed delight that the institution is being professionalized, as reflected by further training of senior management staff and participation in training people in other parts of the World.
He emphasized that NEC need to ensure that it sustains and maintains its status because Sierra Leone is now a well known example in Africa for conducting free and fair elections.
The President expressed his belief that it is a great responsibility because it is something that is not easily attained, especially in a multi-party democracy.
President Koroma reiterated that he is sure that with increased professionalism and funding by both Government and Donor partners the activities of the National Electoral Commission will be further improved.
In another engagement, President Ernest Bai Koroma received the Executive Director of the African Development Bank, Mr. El Fatih Mohamed Khalid at State House.
The Executive Director who represents the Gambia, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Sudan, is visiting the country to be acquainted with road projects funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the country’s main Donors. Mr. Khalid said he was very impressed on this first visit, especially in being able to meet relevant government officials, including the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and congratulated the President on his developmental strides and good governance.
He further commended the President for the ongoing road construction projects nation-wide and assured him that he will ensure that the necessary support is made provided.
The Executive Director also expressed satisfaction with the overall progress being made, assuring that the Bank will continue to support the President’s efforts in his vision to realize the Millennium Development Goals. He informed the President of his staff’s willingness to work judiciously with government in the implementation of ADfB funded projects in the country, assuring that although he is working globally, he will ensure that the five countries he represents derive more benefit from the Bank.
President Koroma in response, said the visit by the Executive Director is appropriate so that he can visit project sites to be acquainted with being experienced in implementing them.
He said the Agenda for Change identified huge agricultural potentials in all regions of the country, especially in the eastern part of the country where the bad road conditions is making it difficult for harvested products to be taken to markets. President Koroma therefore called on the Executive Director to give priority to the country’s road infrastructure to enhance agricultural and economic activities.
President Korma appealed for increased funding to increase the pace of implementation of on-going Education projects.
At the same time, the President called for an increase in the number of agricultural projects to achieve food self-sufficiency and road infrastructure projects, especially the Koidu-Matotoka road for which timing in the commencement of work is critical.
President Koroma disclosed that the ADB has been very supportive and hopes it will continue to serve its purpose.
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