EU support for Kambia local council and CSOs launched in Kambia district

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 October 2020:

Sierra Leone’s minister of planning and economic development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai has reiterated his call for effective coordination, ownership and people cantered processes that are critical to achieving the objectives of the government’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019-2023 at the local community level.

Speaking at the launching of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) grant contract for the Kambia District, the minister urged the Kambia District Council and Civil Society grant holders to embed those principles in the implementation of  local programmes and projects.

Dr. Kai-Kai said: “These complementary grants to Kambia District and the two CSOs in Kambia will improve their respective capacities to work together, coordinate well together to deliver to the people of Kambia District. The grants should make them more effective and better able to contribute to the democratic transition and socio economic development of this District and, by extension, Sierra Leone.

“This launch is an important step forward in our journey towards achieving the development goals President Julius Maada Bio’s government and you, the people, have set out for yourselves and nation in the MTNDP (2019-2023), which was founded on a strong political commitment to deliver development results that will improve the welfare of Sierra Leone’s citizens, places decentralization at the core of citizen engagement and poverty reduction”.

Chairman of Kambia District Council, Mohamed Yayah Bangura, said that the grant would enable the council address some of the challenges facing the council. He said the grant would build the necessary capacity and making right investments that would unleash both the socio-economic potential and participation opportunities for every Kambia citizen.

He called for more collaboration and better coordination, during the implementation of the proposed guest house in Gbalamuya, rehabilitation of the council building and building of market stalls at Bamoi Luma.

In her keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Melrose Kargbo, commended the government for the level of support they have given to local councils, stating that it is a manifestation of President Bio’s commitment to the decentralisation process in the country.

She stated that they have commenced the process of developing a strategic plan that would engage local stakeholders and development partners, whilst commending the EU for their support to the process.

Head of European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Tom Vens, said that the aim of the funding is to support effective decentralisation and efficient service delivery to citizens, especially in remote areas.

He said that the project would contribute to economic growth and social cohesion for the benefit of Sierra Leone. He also acknowledged the President’s strategy and long-term vision in placing decentralisation at the core of the government’s New Direction.

In July 2020, President Julius Maada Bio unveiled the five-year EU grant which is targeting District Councils and respective Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Pujehun, Kenema, Bombali and Kambia.

2 Comments

  1. In my area in the north, there are market areas for food stalls, where petty traders can move away from selling their trade in the open, and do their trade under one roof, commissioned and completed under the EKB government. Unfortunately, it has never been put to use. Not because the lack of wanting but the lack of training. We have to acknowledge the illiteracy rate in our country is very high. There is even a rice mill that was also completed. It is now being swallowed by weeds. I asked a relative why are our locals are not using these facilities provided for them by the government? The answer is, the structures are there but not enough training has gone into training the locals how to use it.

    Apart from putting up these structures that are meant to transform people’s lives, both in the south or the north or anywhere for that matter, government needs to invest more in education and training. Without which it will just be another elephant project. Maybe the Kambia district council will rehabilitate, and repair the luma market, for the benefit of the locals. Government and the local authorities need to work hand in glove to promote some of these local initiatives. What it shows despite all the tsunami of bad news regarding corruption in Sierra Leone, our international partners are still standing by us. Not so for a corrupt state like Lebanon.

    The IMF, the World bank, the ADB and our European union partners continue to throw money at us, to see if this Bio government can seize the opportunity to make good come out of all these funds we are getting. Our international partners know the effect of the COVID19 pandemic is going to cause unprecedented damage to African economies. How much has the Bio government commissioned a study on the effect of the COVID19 pandemic on our economy is a different matter. The European union knows this better than anyone. And one way of forestalling that is to help us out, to avoid mass migration to the EU. I hope this president can wake up and tackle the real issues facing our country. May God bless you Sierra Leone.

  2. “He called for more collaboration and better coordination, during the implementation of the proposed guest house in Gbalamuya, rehabilitation of the council building and building of market stalls at Bamoi Luma.”- Chairman of Kambia District Council

    With the exception of the building of market stalls at Bamoi Luna how is building of a Guesthouse at Gbalamuya and rehabilitation of council buildings bring socioeconomic development for the people in the remote communities that the EU country representative mentioned in his speech?

    Getting funds or loans is one thing – and we have been getting many (since Adam was a child). However utilizing it in such a way that it will in the near future help us to be independent so that we do not go cup in hand begging again to repair Council buildings and the Luma market.

    Dr. Kai Kai, I believed that you were asked to lead that Ministry so that you can provide the skilled leadership in the development sector from one of continuously begging to one of wealth creation and self reliance.

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