Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 October 2021:
Yesterday Friday, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai joined his colleague Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara, Senior Government officials, United Nations Agencies, members of the Diplomatic community and other stakeholders to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the United Nations Day celebration with the theme: “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World”.
Speaking at a cocktail event held at the Golden Tulip Essential Kimbima Hotel in Freetown, Minister Kai-Kai spoke about the importance of the occasion, marking the entry into force in 1945 the UN Charter that was ratified by a majority of signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, which led to the official establishment of the UN.
Dr. Kai-Kai noted the significant contributions that The United Nations has made towards Sierra Leone’s development in particular and humanity in general.
Minister Kai-Kai on behalf of President Dr Julius Maada Bio extended his appreciation of the United Nations, as demonstrated in ensuring there is a holistic partnership in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030; supportive of the reform initiatives of the organization; peace keeping and several other areas of mutual benefit.
The United Nations as an intergovernmental organisation plays a primary role in maintaining world peace and security including in developing friendly relations among countries, achieving international cooperation and being a centre of coordination for nations.
In another though related development, on Thursday 21st October 2021, Ministry Kai-Kai in collaboration with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office and with support from the UNDP conducted the 3rd Ministerial Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC) meeting with the theme: “Leveraging Sierra Leone’s Natural Resource Endowments for an Inclusive Post COVID-19 Recovery”.
The meeting was a platform for regular and structured dialogue between Development Partners and the Government of Sierra Leone on issues of development and the need to work together, and to inform each other of progress made in their various interventions in the COVID-19 era.
In his statement, as co-chair, Minister Francis Kai-Kai expressed his delight that the session would seek to address critical issues in our natural resources sectors, which includes the effective natural resource management to sustain and support growth in the agriculture, fisheries, land, water supply, energy and tourism sectors as well as addressing the adaptation to climate change impacts on natural resources and managing mineral resources to maximize revenues for development priorities and the empowerment of the poor, especially in mineral-bearing communities.
Dr. Kai-Kai emphasized on the need for capacity building support for the sector Ministries, program development to enhance the implementation of projects, technical assistance as well as the role of CSOs, NGOs and the private sector.
Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, UN Resident Coordinator, in his statement, said that he is hopeful that the meeting would serve as a platform for both the Government, Development Partners and other key stakeholders to provide actionable answers to questions in the form of proposals and progress made around various interventions in the natural resources sector.
The World Bank Country Manager, Abdu Muwong said it is an opportunity to build on development gains made, despite the pandemic. He said as part of the DEPAC Working Group, the World Bank Group would continue working with partners to identify what needs to be done collectively to build back better in the Environment, Mineral Resources, Fisheries and Lands sectors.
During the presentations, the Minister of Environment, Prof. Foday Jaward outlined government priorities in the environment sector and the impact of COVID-19 on environmental management among others; while the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Timothy Musa Kabba showcased the institutional arrangement and governance structure of the minerals sector, legal and regulatory framework and the impact of COVID-19 on the mineral sector among others.
The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ibrahim Turay addressed the economic contribution of fisheries in the medium term and COVID-19 era as well as their role in building private sector confidence in the fisheries sector among others; while the Deputy Minister of Finance II, Shek Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura presented on government’s commitment and financial support to natural resource management institutions, in recent years, including planned financial support and policy direction and resource mobilization going forward.
The first and second quarter DEPAC meetings were held on the 23rd March and 24th June 2021 respectively. The theme for the first quarter included: ‘Human Capital Development in the Era of COVID-19, with a focus on Education and Health’; while the theme for the second quarter included: ‘Post Emergency Socioeconomic Recovery— Building Back Better from COVID-19, focusing on Agricultural & Food Security, Energy and the role of the private sector in financing the two sectors’.