Anthony Kamara (A.K) Jnr.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 June 2013
Former Head of UNIDO operations in Sierra Leone – Dr. Stephen Bainous Kargbo, has started work at the UNIDO Regional Office in Ethiopia, following a competitive and rigorous selection process.
The office in Ethiopia headed by a UNIDO Representative and Regional Director covers the four countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and also works collaboratively with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Community of Africa (UNECA).
As the most senior Industrial Development Officer and expert and second-in-command in the regional office, Dr. Kargbo is expected to provide expert support in the development of policies and programmes designed to accelerate sustainable industrial development in his four-countries of coverage.
He is also expected to respond to other demands elsewhere in fulfillment of UNIDO’s global mandate.
Given his track record in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leonean born Dr. Kargbo is hoping to add significant value to UNIDO’s work in the Eastern part of Africa.
Through his leadership, UNIDO was able to undertake a range of flagship projects cutting across all three global priorities of UNIDO – poverty reduction through productive activities, trade capacity building, and energy and the environment.
His most recent achievements were his innovative collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone, UN agencies and Women’s Civil Society groups, where he organised a national celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD).
The celebration brought together over twenty (20) international leaders and entrepreneurs, including Dr. Kandeh Yumkella – the Director-General of UNIDO, Mr. Michele Sidibé – the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Mrs. Cherie Blair – Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation. President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone declared IWD an annual national holiday.
The success of the IWD celebrations bore additional fruits in the organization of the first ever Mano River Union Forum in Freetown on ‘Women’s Empowerment through Access to Energy” which attracted over 150 ministerial and technical level participants from at least six ECOWAS countries.
Through Dr. Kargbo’s commitment, teamwork and facilitation skills, UNIDO was able to honour a request from the Sierra Leone government to develop a country programme framework to support the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity.
The request led to a forty million dollar (USD 40m) Country Programme Framework and the signing ceremony taking place at the Vienna based headquarters, between Minister of Trade and Industry – Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara, representing the Government of Sierra Leone and Dr. Kandeh Yumkella – UNIDO Director-General.
Throughout Sierra Leone, UNIDO is now known for its support to the Government of Sierra Leone in establishing Industrial Growth Centres (IGC), that are responsible for promoting and delivering training and employment opportunities for women and youth in both urban and rural areas across the country.
These IGCs could be found in several districts including Newton, Kailahun, Kamakwie, and Pujehun.
UNIDO also supports many other projects in Sierra Leone, including the thirty-six million dollar funding it has leveraged for the development of a 10MW Mini-hydropower plant in Moyamba, Bankasoka, Port Loko district and Charlotte.
Dr. Kargbo is a graduate from Njala University. He holds an M.Sc. and PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Georg-August University of Goettingen, Germany, where in 2001, he won the prestigious award of “Best Foreign Student” conferred by the German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD).
During that same period, he was President of the Union of Sierra Leoneans in Goettingen, Germany, as well as the President of students and scholars in Europe sponsored by the German Church Development Service (EED).
With over twenty years of experience in community service and economic development, Dr. Kargbo’s career started in the late 1980s as a secondary school teacher and continued in the 90s as Director of Planning and Development of the Wesleyan Church of Sierra Leone.
He then went on to pursue his university teaching and research assistantship in Germany. Dr. Kargbo has worked in several organizational development consultancies across many countries. He has undertaken specialist work in the United Nations System – first with UNDP as Programme Specialist from 2006-2008, and now at UNIDO since 2008.
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