Alfred Fornah: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 January 2019:
Professor Pieter Bon, an educational psychologist and Chairman of the Academy for Sustainable Development in the Netherlands, last week delivered a series of public lectures on Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGS) at five tertiary educational institutions in Freetown.
The public lecture series which were facilitated by Abubakarr Bangura, the CEO of SEP Investment Services and an active participant of the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D) program, were conducted at the Civil Service Training College, African Graduate University, Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, College of Professional Studies and the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology ( IAMTECH) from the 21st- 24th January, 2019 respectively.
These events attracted more than five hundred participants, including students, lecturers and other stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.
Professor Bon anchored his lectures on all the seventeen SD goals but laid emphasis on Goal 4 – quality education, Goal 8 which is about decent work and economic growth, and Goal 17 – building sustainable partnerships.
He gave clear examples of what he described as the Five Ps of the SDGs: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.
He also discussed emerging global trends that are in line with the SDGs and stressed the need to work towards sustainability.
” Sustainable development can only be achieved by fulfilling the needs of the people now and also taking into account the needs of next generations. In that respect it was hopeful to see that during my lectures the subject of sustainable development was received with enthusiasm. I discussed with the participants not only about their own future but also about the future of Sierra Leone as part of the global community. We will have to start thinking, acting and organizing differently in this world with regards to economic, ecological and social issues. We can’t wait anymore,” Pieter Bon noted.
On the final day of the lectures, participants presented their business ideas of the SEP accelerator program at the Start Hub at IAMTECH, as well as distribution of IT materials by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to MMCET, EBK University and IAMTECH.
The Principal of IAMTECH – Dr Wundah, commended Mr Bangura for bringing Pieter Bon to Sierra Leone to engage higher educational institutions about a new trend in education. He noted that sustainable development should be in every curriculum in Sierra Leone.
He said Mr Bangura is one of the few progressive Sierra Leone diasporans that are really seeking the interest of his home country.
Representatives from IOM and the Director of Office of Diaspora Affairs Dr Kallay Musa Conteh also praised Mr Bangura for his strive towards the development of his country.
Abubakarr Bangura in his response thanked Pieter Bon and added that entrepreneurship is a key factor for sustainable economic growth and job creation.
In a related development, Pieter Bon and Abubakarr Bangura also paid a courtesy call on the Hon Minister of Technical and Higher Education and the manager of Sierra Leone Brewery to share ideas about the Public Lectures and the possibility of partnership to promote entrepreneurship and curriculum development for tertiary institutions in Sierra Leone, so as to increase job creation for graduates and spark economic development in the country.
The Public lecture series are powered by SEP Investment Services, Academy for Sustainable Development, IOM and Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) within the frame work of CD4D program.
About the author
Alfred Fornah is the Communication Officer at the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA).