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Sierra Leone hosts seventh consultative meeting

Sierra Leone hosts seventh consultative meeting

Freetown, June 23 (SLENA) – The Government of Sierra Leone through the Development Aid Coordinating Office (DACO) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development last Thursday 19th June 2014 held the G7+ Seventh Consultative Meeting on Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown.

 It should be noted that Sierra Leone is a member of the G7+ group, which comprises of countries that have been affected by civil conflict and are now in transition to the next stage of development.

This group seeks to reform the way the international community engages in conflict-affected countries and devise more effective and accountable ways to eradicate poverty, using innovative development strategies adapted to country leadership and ownership of the development process.

Sierra Leone is a founder member of the G7+ and was chosen as one of the seven countries to pilot the New Deal for engagement in fragile states. In a recent meeting, Sierra Leone ascended the chair of the G7+ for the next two years.

In his Remarks, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Kaifala  Marah, started by welcoming participants to the seventh consultative group meeting on the agenda for prosperity, aging that  for the past two days they have been discussing diligently under the high level international arrangement to discuss issues relating to fragile states in order to address the challenges facing certain countries, and that they have come out with successful outcomes on South Sudan, Guinea Bissau, Somalia and Central Africa Republic.

He informed his audience that it was a dialogue of development partners, noting that they also had in  attendance justice ministers from the G7+ countries to  most importantly discussed the kind of support they would provide to finance ministries, most importantly in the area of negotiations especially on minerals.

Dr. Marah noted that as G7+ countries they believed that it will be important to begin to demonstrate their commitment to that which is expected of them and forward the results to development partners so that synergies will be built and support would be provided from them.

While welcoming civil society partners from G7+ countries, he stated that they would also continue with their meeting while expressing hope that at the end of the day they would come up with key recommendations.

In his remarks, the Vice President of the World Bank Mahktar Dipo, noted that nearly two decades ago Sierra Leone was embroiled in civil conflict, but the country later choose the path of peace during which progress was made. He said he is very much impressed with the role being played by Sierra Leone in the G7+ discussions and further commended the country for being a good example of peace and reconciliation.

Mr. Dipo pointed out that Sierra Leone deserves to celebrate its success, noting that the World Bank is very much ready to help the country in its transformation drive.

The vice president of the World Bank commended President Ernest Bai Koroma for his emphasis on regional integration and further congratulated his government for developing the Agenda for Prosperity with emphasis on transforming the youth and women.

He noted that the main stay of the economy is agriculture which is the bedrock of economic growth. He assured the President Koroma that the World Bank will continue to support Sierra Leone in those areas.

The Vice President of the Africa Development Bank, Zolo Sakala maintained that the AFDB presence at the meeting was a confirmation of their support to the government in its aspirations to develop the country, noting that since the end of the conflict in Sierra Leone the country has registered remarkable success in peace and security efforts.

Delivering his keynote address, President Ernest Bai Koroma expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the International dialogue meeting on peace building and state building, saying that for far long Sierra Leone was known for negative things and that even ten years after the war they are still defined by their past for blood diamonds, as a place where human rights are violated with impunity, etc.

The President disclosed that international civil servants and others still receive risk allowances and insurance premiums because the country is still considered unsafe. The President hoped that   the participants would serve as ambassadors to tell the world that Sierra Leone is peaceful, safe and democratic a country where human rights are respected.

He disclosed that his government record speaks for itself which is reflected in the country’s improved rankings. He said they are doubling their efforts to improve a lot in the private sector starting with performance management contracts.

Credit SLENA

By Hawanatu Bockari

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