Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 October 2018:
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Consultant – Tim Strawson, who is currently looking at the development of a national financing framework for Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan, on Friday 19th October held discussions with the Director of the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA).
Tim Strawson was accompanied by Kordzo Sedgeh and Milton Korseh- Hindowa, National Economist of UNDP – Sierra Leone.
According to Mr Hindowa , Tim Strawson is from the United Kingdom and is in Sierra Leone to undertake the development financing exercise. “The consultant is in Freetown to meet with key stakeholders, especially development partners including the ODA”.
The Director of ODA, Dr Kallay Musa Conteh said that the ODA is the coordinating center for diaspora related activities; noting that it has a mandate to capacitate the public sector with diaspora human resource, formalizing remittances and promoting friendly investment environment for diaspora investors.
“The ODA was established to engage the diaspora towards national development. The government wants to intensify effort in engaging its diaspora constituents for the development of the country. And this was evident in president Bio’s speech during the state opening of Parliament that they will review the mandates of the ODA,” Dr Conteh said.
ODA’s staff and the UNDP Consultant discussed a wide range of issues, such as the contribution of the diaspora in private sector development and investments, skills transfer, and their intervention during emergencies.
Tim Strawson thanked Dr Conteh for explaining the activities and priorities of the ODA. He also requested key documents, including the National Road Map on Diaspora Remittances which was developed by ODA and ACP-EU.
Meanwhile, the government has requested the UNDP to support a Development Financing Assessment (DFA) exercise to support its ongoing national development planning process.
The assessment aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of the development cooperation landscape and emerging opportunities for domestic revenue generation.
The DFA exercise will lead to the design and establishment of an Integrated National Financing Framework for the National Development Plan. Tim Strawson is hired by UNDP to lead the DFA exercise.