What has Kandeh Yumkella done for Sierra Leone?

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 December 2017:

Elections in Sierra Leone are due on 7th of March 2018, and as political parties step up their propaganda offensive against each other, not even State House has managed to stay away from the spreading of negative propaganda, especially against presidential hopeful Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.

Next year’s presidential election will be a two-horse race between Dr kandeh Yumkella and Mr Samura Kamara, whose stewardship at the ministry of finance was so poor that he had to be removed by president Koroma, so as to prevent further damage to the economy as poverty, unemployment, inflation and the national debt grew.

President Koroma’s decision to personally join the fray in rubbishing the work of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella in Sierra Leone, smacks of political desperation for the ruling party to stay in office.

But the National Grand Coalition campaign team have been quick to debunk the ruling party’s effort to rubbish Dr Yumkella’s track record in promoting the development of Sierra Leone, and these they say are some of his achievements:

Raised $500, 000 to help tackle Ebola

As an internationally-connected distinguished citizen of Sierra Leone, Yumkella mobilised US$500,000 for Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. The Director- General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) approved the half-a-million dollars grant, in support of the World Health Organization campaign to stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The grant was approved following Yumkella’s discussions with the Director General of OFID – Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish.

Established UNIDO Office in Sierra Leone

With Dr. Yumkella as Director-General of UNIDO, the first UNIDO Sub-regional Office was opened in Sierra Leone in 2005, creating job opportunities and raising the profile of Sierra Leone as a potential economic hub in the sub-region.

Lumley Tokeh Road

The first international visit of President Ernest Bai Koroma, after his election in 2007, was to UNIDO Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. The visit was at the invitation of Dr. Yumkella as Director-General of UNIDO. At the end of the visit Dr. Yumkella facilitated a $10 million loan for the construction of the Lumley-Tokkeh Road by the OPEC Fund.

Hydro electric power (hep) Dams

In 2013, Dr Yumkella initiated and convinced UNIDO to fund the construction of three HEP DAMS in Charlotte, Moyamba and Bankasoka in Port Loko in partnership with the Chinese government. The multi-million-dollar Bankasoka Dam is now nearing completion, while the Charlotte Dam is also under construction near Freetown.

This is a YouTube clip of president Koroma back then, giving a speech where he credited Yumkella and referring to Yumkella as a valuable asset to Sierra Leone. But today, president Koroma is denying Yumkella’s efforts:

Fishery and marine training institute

The Sierra Leone Fishery and Marine Training Institute was Built by UNIDO, under the directorship of Dr Kandeh Yumkella, at a cost of over one million, five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000). It was built to replace the old institute that was burnt down during the rebel war.

Dr Yumkella as Director General also facilitated the training of 14 Sierra Leonean graduates in various aspects of Marine Engineering at the Astrakhan Technical University in Russia. Those students qualified and returned home, and are now running the institute.

Economic Growth Centres

Dr Yumkella in his campaign for sustainable energy for all and in promoting the fight against poverty, facilitated the setting up of 11 Growth Centres across the Country by UNIDO. These Centres offer apprenticeship in local building materials production, computer skills, metalwork, tailoring, bricklaying, cassava processing, and local juice production, creating thousands of job opportunities for local youths.

The Centres also promote the production and sale of ice, and sale of cold drinks using solar powered refrigerators. They also provide entertainment for the youths, including showing live satellite football matches; and affordable energy for powering the machinery of trades men. The Centres are promoting and encouraging youth empowerment.

Biomass Grassifier in Kychom Kambia district

This Biomass Grassifier was installed by Dr Yumkella. It uses rice husk to provide power for rice mills, carpentry equipment, and cold freezers. It was installed in Kambia by UNIDO, under Dr Yumkella’s stewardship as a pilot project which was adapted from India.

The grassifier powers 250 houses in Kychom and provides street lighting, energy for the Centres – which in turn provide apprenticeships; it powers public buildings – mosques, schools, churches and commercial centres.

The project has boosted trade and education provision in Kambia district. Dr Yumkella’s aim is to replicate this success in other parts of the Country.

Youth Employment Fund Programme

In 2011, Dr Yumkella’s UNIDO established a youth to youth funded programme to create employment and small businesses in a bid to promote peer employers. By the end of 2011, 12 businesses had been created; 144 mainly female and disabled youths have also established micro businesses.

Some of the businesses set up are: ink remanufacturing and water purification in Freetown; and a solar charging kiosk in Kailahun. Several micro businesses have been created by UNIDO under Dr Yumkella all over the country, and these continue to create jobs for hundreds of youths.

Solar Energy Project

This project was initiated by Dr Yumkella and funded by UNIDO as a pilot project in Kambia to provide basic lighting for pupils to study at night, for health centres, apprenticeship workshops, mosques, schools, churches and other public buildings. Support in the form of equipment was also provided for the Barefoot Women’s College in Kontaline under this project, to help promote Rural Electrification.

Quality Standards and Control Lab at Kissy

UNIDO under Dr Yumkella, funded the establishment of a National Quality Control initiative for Sierra Leone, and a fully operational Micro-Biological and Chemical Testing Laboratory. It also paid for overseas training of Sierra Leoneans to run the lab. UNIDO also funded the construction of a Meteorology Laboratory at Kissy, Freetown.

These facilities were established at a total cost of 8 million dollars for the ECOWAS wide project, and have helped add value to Sierra Leone’s fishing sector, and has now made it possible for Sierra Leone to realize greater income from cash crops and marine exports.

Hydro-electricity Centre at Fourah Bay College

The 150 thousand dollars Hydro Electric Power Centre was built by UNIDO for engineering students of FBC under Dr Yumkella. It will help train future hydro engineers in the University’s Engineering Faculty.

Two Solar Centres were also established by UNIDO under Dr Yumkella to provide 24-hour electricity for the libraries; and to also power computer labs for internet access at both Njala and FBC.

The Crest Programme

Under the Community Resilience through Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (CREST) programme, Yumkella’s stewardship at UNIDO, established a workforce skills and business training centre in Kambia for vulnerable youths and women in local food processing, value addition, micro finance, computer skills and other apprenticeships.

Since its inception, over 1,000 youth have been empowered in micro finance and marketable skills.

So what has Dr. Kandeh Yumkella done for Sierra Leone?

Quite simply – he has done more than president Koroma achieved before becoming president, and certainly more than Samura Kamara has done for Sierra Leone.

Looking at the above list of projects and programmes either initiated or funded by UNIDO under Yumkella’s stewardship, it would be dishonest for anyone – let alone president Koroma to deny or attempt to rubbish Dr. Yumkella’s contribution to the development of Sierra Leone in the last ten years.

And this track record not only qualifies Dr Yumkella to stand for the presidency, but makes him the most suitable candidate to lead Sierra Leone and remove the country from its current unenviable position – as one of the poorest nations in the world.

Dr Samura Kamara (Photo) may have a ‘track record’ as the former finance minister in the  failed Koroma government, but his track record is poor.

Samura orchestrated and presided over the declining performance of the country’s economy, and brought the nation to bankruptcy.

Public sector workers’ salaries are not being paid, because the government has run out of money; inflation is at an all-time high; unemployment stands at over 80% of the adult population; Sierra Leone’s debt has quadrupled from zero in 2001 to over $3 billion today; less than 25% of people in Sierra Leone have access to regular supply of electricity; and less than 40% of households have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Electing Dr Samura as president of Sierra Leone in 2018 will be bad news for the people of Sierra Leone. It will mean a continuation of the failed policies of president Koroma – characterised by state capture; it will mean more corruption in high places; it will mean a continuation of poor governance and lack of accountability for public funds – especially international aid; and it will take Sierra Leone back to the dark ages, with increasing lawlessness, impunity, squalor, poor healthcare, and abject poverty.


  1. I give thanks and praise to the almighty God for all the good work done. May the almighty God bless you all

  2. I believe that president Earnest Koroma’s pride is hurting since he is still alive and well in the country and people are mentioning the name of someone else in terms of development.

    In his little mind he believes that he started development in Sierra Leone but he forgot that the Europeans used to build quality roads for us without any tolls which the government never maintained; the British government donated 40 coaches for the railway after independence which was destroyed by the APC government in 1974; and we were accustomed to riding European buses ( Mercedes and even the double decker buses)) which APC also destroyed and now boasting of providing used Chinese buses.

    He displayed his sense of arrogance in the video clip when reintroduced himself to the nation by beating his chest and saying “Me Ernest Koroma a Sierra Leonean” would have done more for his country than Dr. Yumkella, which shows his level of insecurity and low self esteem when it comes to praise singing.

    My advice to the President is to be humble and thankful to the citizens that gave the opportunity to change their lives which you choose to betray by enriching yourself and party members; and stop minimizing the sacrifices and contributions that citizens have made toward the development of our nation. Instead of self praise, you can simply say “THANK YOU”.

  3. For the writer to declare that next year’s presidential elections will be a two-horse race between Kandeh Yumkella and Samura Kamara shows how far removed he has been from the politics on the ground in Sierra Leone.

    I would like to see how Kandeh Yumkella will get more than 10% of the presidential votes let alone be a serious contender for the presidency. At the end of the day, support from the Diaspora will only help in raising funds as the voting power lies with Sierra Leoneans resident in Sierra Leone. Yumkella for all the NGC propaganda is only strong in the Western Area and among Diaspora Sierra Leoneans. He will find it very difficult to compete in the North, where the APC and ADP are in full control, and in the Southeast, where the SLPP is in full control.

    As far as what Yumkella has done for Sierra Leone, I will leave that to the voters to decide on March 7, 2018. But I am sure that the voters would be curiou to know why a man who has never voted in Sierra Leone would want to be president of Sierra Leone.

    • Gerald, this piece shows how far you are removed from the reality on the ground. If you can say NGC will not get more than 10% and that the ADP is stronger in the North and the NGC propaganda is only strong in the Western Area, clearly exerts how removed you are from the current political reality on the ground. If anybody is to report on current Political activities on the ground for just two parties, NGC will be one.

      Ask those on the ground to tell you what happened in Kambia, P/Loko, Bumbuna, Mile 91, Magburuka and Kabala of late. And you will know that your assertion is far fetched. One thing is clear in the NGC, and that is, all those joining NGC are doing so because of the message and the faith people have in the candidate; NGC is not giving money to anybody. So, nobody is coming to “chap”; the support you see is real and not watermelon.

      The idea also that the SLPP is in full control in the South-East is misleading. Don’t forget Kailahun District in the East is on record as the only district whose Paramount Chiefs have declared their support for the APC. Maya Kaikai and Robin Fallay have a lot to show than any other Politician in that district.

      Ask about the outcome of the current thank you tour of the President and you will come to the conclusion that the idea that the South-East is SLPP strong hold, is a thing of the past. Besides, 100% of votes their for SLPP will not grant them the presidency. Great if you could research your assertion again.

  4. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, by virtue of his position as DG of UNIDO, was able to facilitate projects in Sierra Leone firstly by creating visibility of the country, it’s level of development (or lack thereof), out of the more than 175 other members. Secondly, he followed through to actually see some of this project become a reality.

    Question: If Dr. Yumkella was not heading UNIDO at the time he did, would those projects have been implemented in Sierra Leone? In the UN system, you have to justify every project proposal and determine the positive impact it would have on the particular community.

    It is obvious that these projects are having a positive impact in terms of development and are directly beneficial the communities. This is the kind of service that every Sierra Leonean should be proud of and is exactly what Dr. Yumkella has eloquently done for Sierra Leone.

  5. Benjamin, thanks for your detailed insight into the workings of UNIDO been an agency of UN. You said it all. Let me ask blind loyalists of kkk. When you’ve awarded all the UNIDO credit to kkk, what is the fate of our government experts who were also part of those deliberations and signing of agreements in making all the highlighted projects a reality. You guys think you talking to fools because of kkk desperation for state power. You just daydreaming.

  6. The problem with most “political supporters” (vuvuzelas) is that they enjoy swallowing whole (without chewing) every morsel of propaganda piece that others or they themselves cook up in order to please their political paymasters or just to pamper their personal palates.

    One of the central questions that has always emerged through the dusts thrown up by the heated exchanges weaved out by posts like the one above is:
    is Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella right to self-satisfactorily claim the praise and honour for something that was done by the UNIDO when the said Dr. Kandeh Yumkella was director of that world body?

    Yes, very much so, maintains his supporters.
    I would insist, no!
    In fact a very big NO!

    My reasons include the following points:
    1) One would expect that whatever Job Kandeh did at the UN was well within his expected (prescribed) remits. Nothing he did would have been outside of his “job descriptions” so any attempt at insinuating that the UNIDO projects were some form of exclusive FAVOUR that was singularly extended to Sierra Leone because there was a Sierra Leonean at the helms is a theory that is not only totally misleading but which is potentially implicating.

    For are these “supporters” implying here that Kandeh favoured Sierra Leone over more deserving countries?
    I wouldn’t like to think so.

    2) that very point takes us to the next question: what happens to countries which do not have a “director” of any UN body but which exhibits sufficient signs of a clear need for a wider or/and immediate intervention?
    Or are folks really suggesting here that those states that have no “big man” at the UN would be left to perish when they are faced with calamities of any significant magnitude?

    Ebola was a serious “threat” not just to Sierra Leoneans but to the rest of humanity.
    This was an epidemic that was largely unprecedented in its ravaging sweep and gruesome intensity.
    When Obama declared Ebola as “a national security issue” and proceeded to send thousands of American troops to Liberia, it was not because there was a golf tournament going on out there. Nor was it because Obama wanted to support another presidential term bid for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

    Obama made that move because it was deemed to be in American (indeed world) interest for him to do whatever he did.

    Fact is, we in Sierra Leone had all the help we had because Ebola had come to Sierra Leone, not simply because Dr. Kandeh was Sierra Leonean and he had cajoled or sweet-talked the UN outfit into helping us.
    The WHO and other intervening bodies wouldn’t have stopped doing their jobs if we had a Ukrainian director at one of the UN institutions. They wouldn’t have cared less!

    In fact what is being claimed here by Kandeh surrogates go far beyond a mere “ownership by association”. The hundreds of bags of rice that was, for example, disbursed to Sierra Leone has repeatedly been touted as Kandeh’s personal contribution to our Ebola plight even though the body that donated the rice was not even UNIDO!

    3) I must also point out that Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is not the only Sierra Leonean to have achieved a privileged position at the United Nations.
    It should be noted that men like Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabba worked at some of the highest levels of the United Nations. However, Tejan Kabba never claimed ownership of every or any achievement registered by that body (or the parts that he headed) during his tenure. He was a humble man who didn’t see the need to swim in a public pool and patent the water.
    James Jonah was another exemplary Sierra Leonean who worked at the UN but came back home with the clear intention to serve not the suffocating air to be served.

    4) Top UN workers are highly privileged and well paid. They don’t work for gratis. So it would be awkwardly overreaching for any retired UN worker to want to exploit some manner of ENTITLED compensation in the form of national presidency.
    In fact, if having a UN credential is the qualifying badge for presidency then every single aspirant in every country will be rushing to join the UN instead of campaigning to their people.

    Of course people like Bankin Moon of South Korea, Boutrous Ghali of Egypt or Kofi Anan of Ghana would all have been automatically made presidents of their various countries.
    Or they should have at least claimed personal ownership of all the different projects undertaken by the UN during their tenures (including BANKASOKA or what have you) because these were not just ‘heads of institutions’ they were the heads of the entire edifice during their various tenures.

    5) As a paid technocrat we don’t expect Dr. Kandeh Yumkella to curry (much less demand) favour in respect of projects executed for the people on behalf of a body of which he was a mere employee.
    Every single employee (down to the painters) who are connected with any of these projects are as equally deserving of praise as the UN Secretary General During whose tenure the projects would have been conceived and implemented. No one person in the chain of command would be regarded as honest if they tried to extract some favour from somewhere out of that collective effort.

    If indeed Dr. Kandeh Yumkella wants to showcase his personal “contributions” to the development of his country, I suppose he shouldn’t be projecting projects that the UN has planned and executed, randomly ticking them off his fingers as he goes.
    Projects for which workers have already been fully PAID, and generously so!
    Instead we would be glad to see what he did for his country directly, using the money he got from his own payslips. Or monies that he caused to be privately contributed by others.

    It is no good asking “what did EBK do for Sierra Leone before becoming president” because EBK was not going around making wild claims of “doing” what others (as individuals or organisations to which he may have had some relation/connection) may have done for the country!
    The comparison is not great!

    We all know that EBK is a mere taker, so hiding in his dark shadows to give out EXCUSES is not a clear way forward!

    Give us some other line………

  7. The most disgraceful thing about this whole denial of the contributions of this great man (Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella) is that, people are trying to claim that because it is not directly from his pocket, he has nothing to do with it.

    My question is that, 1. “Are Sierra Leonean trying to send a message to us that we should not use our offices to help our country and be praised for that?

    2. Having heard Ernest Bai Koroma claiming that he could have done more if he was working in the position of UNIDO Boss – past and future impossible tense – given his, EBK’s educational status, to me contradicts his earlier claims that KKY has nothing to do with the Bankasoka Project.

    • “Having heard Ernest Bai Koroma claiming that he could have done more if he was working in the position of UNIDO Boss” -Mohamed Sama Kamara

      When and Were did Ernest Koroma utter such a statement? Is it just a figment of your imagination?

  8. Benjamin, you are totally missing the point. No one is saying that Kandeh is claiming UNIDO supported projects as his personally funded babies. But let me ask you a question: When you apply for a job, what do you put on your job application to show that you can do the job?

    I know what I will put on the job application form. I will put my successes and achievements in delivering the work of my previous employer. I will tell them about the projects that I initiated, delivered or helped delivered. And my CV will also contain info about the projects that I successfully developed and implemented or supervised. Whats wrong with that?

    Kandeh and his supporters have done nothing wrong in shouting out loud about the projects Kandeh was able to bring to Sierra Leone as head of UNIDO. Thats his professional achievement. It shows he can design and supervise the implementation of country projects to further the development of that country.

    Afterall, was it not president Koroma who said that if he was working for an international organisation like Kandeh, he would have done more for Sierra Leone? No one can criticise the president for saying that. So why criticise those who applaud what Kandeh has done for Sierra Leone as head of UNIDO? You cannot change facts, in as much as they get under your skin.

    You may not like Kandeh or do not think that he will make a good president, but no one should deny that whilst he was at UNIDO those projects were implemented with the support of UNIDO. And he made them possible. Well done Dr Yumkella.

    • Benjamin Jones asked the question: “Can Dr. Yumkella go to Bangladesh and claim all the projects implemented in Bangladesh through UNIDO as his personal achievements?”

      The answer is a big fat YES. If they were implemented under his supervision, yes they are his achievements. Thats how it is in the workplace. Have you never held a position of responsibility and managed staff in an organisation?

      Have you ever done an employee job appraisal of yourself or your subordinates? If you have you will understand. Or go and read about staff appraisal.

    • Patrick Koroma, If your inference is that because he was Director General for a UN Agency and therefore should claim responsibilities for projected proposed by members states to which UNIDO plays a part to get a funding Agent to fund and implement such project, what would you say about the employer of Dr. Yumkella, Mr Ban Ki Moon?

      The way the UN works is complex and different. In fact Dr. Yumkella when it came to most of the project proposals sent by the Sierra Leone Government recused himself from the deliberation process to avoid conflict of interest. In the article attached by Benjamin Jones on his post, the writer clearly stated the name of the UNIDO person that met with the Sierra Leone delegation. He was cited as one Dimitri Piskounov, Managing Director of Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division.

      The writer further said that Dr. Yumkella only came in later. Was My Piskounov more lenient with the projects proposals from Sierra Leone, may be yes because of Dr. Yumkella. But if the proposal was not well written and viable, with or without Dr. Yumkella it could not have been approval and funded. That is the issue in these discussions. It might be strange for persons not knowing how the UN and its Agencies work

      In furtherance of this particular argument, this is what the article posted by Benjamin Jones had to say for the Moyamba hydro project …..”At the OPEC Fund for International Development, Director of Economic Service and Planning, Farris Hassan, disclosed that the fund is working closely with UNIDO for the provision of energy access and further reiterated their commitment for the Matotoka-Koidu Highway project.

      Commenting on the Moyamba hydro project, Mr Hassan assured the Sierra Leone delegation that in partnership with UNIDO, they will be funding the project with the amount of $14 million while they make serious efforts in approaching other partner institutions to fund the balance.

      He made it clear that the release of funds for the Matotoka-Koidu highway will be done as soon as the documents submitted are reviewed and submitted for approval to OFID’s Board of Directors.:.. How would any sane person claim the Moyamba hydro project is the sole achievement of Dr. Yumkella/. Did he conceive of the project, write the project proposal and presented it to OPEC and UNIDO for approval and funding?

      I am not trying to take down whatever role or influence his position might have had on some of these projects but coating truth with lies makes this propaganda muskier. For projects from Sierra Leone projects to go through UNIDO, they have to be well written and supported and presented by the recipient country and the country has to be a member state of UNIDO.

      It is not just one man sitting in Vienna just taking it upon himself and decides this should go to this place or to Sierra Leone because I am from Sierra Leone. If that is how you think your man operated, then we might be in a shock when he will direct all projects (if he wins) to Kambai District because you are indicating he is used to working out of the realm of how things should work.

  9. Political party supporters and politicians have the right to roar the qualities or anything that will make their party or party candidate appears as an Angel or a super philanthropist second to none.

    Dr. Yumkella has done well for himself. He became head of a Technical Unit within the UN. UNIDO which he was heading was not a money making or disbursing UNIT within the UN. Unlike the UNDP, the core function of UNIDO is as follows “Core functions:

    As a global forum, UNIDO generates and disseminates knowledge relating to industrial matters and provides a platform for the various actors in the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and the policy- making community in general to enhance cooperation, establish dialogue and develop partnerships.

    UNIDO designs and implements programmes to enhance the productivity of industry in developing and transition economies. UNIDO programmes are focused geographically on least developed countries; sectorally on agro-based industries; and thematically on micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs).” (http://vienna.mfa.gov.ua/en/ukraine-io/unido/about).

    Therefore, using UNIDO implemented projects as personal achievements of Dr. Yumkella is a misnomer or misleading statement.

    In its mission statement UNIDO has this to say “UNIDO was established in 1966 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1985. As a specialized agency, UNIDO has a governing body (now composed of 172 member states), the Statute and a budget of its own, separate from those of the United Nations Organization and other specialized agencies.”

    Sierra Leone is one of the member states of UNIDO. Be it as it may, how can the implementations of projects whether by UNIDO or any other UN body considered being the achievements of a single person just because he is a native of that country?

    Unless Narcissism is at play since we are in electioneer mode and the prospective candidate wants to show an exaggerated feeling of self-importance. Can Dr. Yumkella go to Bangladesh and claim all the projects implemented in Bangladesh through UNIDO as his personal achievements? No! Why does he or his supporters want Sierra Leone to vote for him for something that he was being paid by the UN do to?

    To know how some these projects were identified and carried out, read this 2011 article below:

    “UNIDO Offers Support To The Government Of Sierra Leone

    VIENNA, December 4, 2011: On the sidelines of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 14th General Conference, a high level meeting between UNIDO officials and Sierra Leone’s delegation was convened to discuss progress on UNIDO implemented projects in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Minister Richard Konteh and MD Dimitri Piskounov exchanging signed copies of agreement)

    The meeting which served to discuss details of UNIDO projects, sought to identify specific actions needed either by UNIDO or the government of Sierra Leone to move the projects to the next level.

    Left UNIDO representatives – Stephen Kargbo – Head of SL Operations, Dimitri Piskounov and DG Yumkella. Right: Sierra Leone Delegation HOC Al-Hassan Kondeh , Mins. Richard Konteh and Ambassador Stevens

    Leading UNIDO’s delegation was Dimitri Piskounov, Managing Director of Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division on behalf of Director General Kandeh K. Yumkella. Sierra Leone’s delegation led by Trade and Industry Minister Richard Konteh and Jongopie Siaka Stevens -Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Germany included Stephen Kargbo – UNIDO Sierra Leone Head of Operations and Counselor Al-Hassan K. Kondeh.

    Among the many projects discussed, the following received funding:

    The sum of $800,000 was allocated to the construction of a training institute for the provision of technical capacity. The Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) has agreed to use the Kissy Dockyard site that has already been identified and will remove squatters and petrol trucks from the construction site, demolish foundation of necessary construction and brick wall and assist where necessary, with procurement of locally available materials and provide additional security for premises.
    UNIDO will ensure that construction material will arrive at the site by December 16, 2011 ensuring that the ground-breaking ceremony takes place by January 2012 and building is completed by April 2012. The contractor will provide security services in addition to that to be provided by the GOSL. With UNIDO’s help, Russian has allocated $650,000 for the second phase of the development.

    A metrology laboratory will be constructed to provide Quality and Compliance Infrastructural development in the amount of $400,000 provided by the governments of Norway and Finland. GOSL will contribute $50,000 towards the construction of the metrology laboratory and UNIDO will cover the sum of $200,000 to cover the funding gap to meet the complete cost of the project.

    For the development of small hydro power for productive uses, UNIDO has secured the sum of $1,758,192 from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with more funding expected to follow. Another $10 million is expected to be received with UNIDO’s help from ECOWAS Bank for International Development (EBID) and an additional $50,000 to be provided by UNIDO. The remaining funds to complete the $31 million project are currently being mobilized by UNIDO and the GOSL as negotiations continue with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the European Union.

    With UNIDO’s continued help, the government of Japan has provided funding in the amount of $1,167,412 for the rehabilitation of training-cum production centres in vulnerable communities of Koindu, Kpandebu, and Pujehun and another $602,500 to be used for a project related to energy access in the same communities.

    Signing the project implementation agreement on behalf of Sierra Leone, Minister Richard Konteh registered his profound gratitude to UNIDO on behalf of the GOSL. “Our government is serious about bringing development toSierra Leoneand this partnership, demonstrates once more, government’s desire to affording opportunities to the people of Sierra Leone,“ he proudly said. “I am truly humbled to be signing this agreement on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone,” he continued.
    For his part, Dimitri Piskounov underscored UNIDO’s continued desire to help GOSL to meet the needs of the Sierra Leonean populace. “We look forward to continued partnership with the people and government of Sierra Leone,” he noted.

    Speaking to Stephen Kargbo – UNIDO Sierra Leone Country Representative about his reaction, “Given the current economic conditions of the global economy, I am satisfied that UNIDO is able to conclude the swift implementation of these projects. This is quite an achievement as these projects have a huge capacity to improve the lives of poor Sierra Leoneans especially youths and women in the rural areas,” he declared.

    For Sierra Leone’s Ambassador Jongopie Stevens “I am proud that the successful implementation of these negotiations has happened during my tenure. What such achievements underscore is the strong relationship that the government of Sierra Leone has forged and will always continue to maintain with UNIDO and other partners,” he responded to a question I posed about his reaction.

    Managing Director Dimitri Piskounov briefs DG Yumkella on the signed agreement

    The Sierra Leonean delegation also lauded UNIDO’s Sierra Leonean born Director General for his astute leadership over the years and his contributions to Sierra Leone which they say speaks volumes. “Dr. Yumkella is a Sierra Leonean that we all should be proud of,“ said Head of Chancery Al–Hassan Kondeh. DG Yumkella joined the meeting late as he continued meeting with UNIDO member states at the conclusion of the General Conference.

    During their visit to Viennafor the Least Developed Countries Ministerial Conference and the 14th Session of UNIDO’s General Conference, theSierra Leone delegation also met with Ambassador Irene Giner–Reichl, Director General for Development Cooperation at the Austrian Foreign Ministry. The successful meeting led to the disclosure that Sierra Leone will receive a grant of 24,200.00 Euros meant to support the health sector in realizing the Millenium Development Goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.

    Both Minister Konteh and Ambassador Stevens expressed their appreciation for the support and shared their belief that the meeting was “the beginning of a long lasting economic-business relationship between Sierra Leone andAustria. Noting the recently concluded Investment Forum which was aimed at showing Sierra Leone’s business friendly environment, he invited the Austrian government to encourage investors to consider doing business with the country. “Our focus is on trade rather than aid and it will be a win-win situation,” Minister Konteh stressed.

    At the OPEC Fund for International Development, Director of Economic Service and Planning, Farris Hassan, disclosed that the fund is working closely with UNIDO for the provision of energy access and further reiterated their commitment for theMatotoka-Koidu Highwayproject. Commenting on the Moyamba hydro project, Mr. Hassan assured the Sierra Leone delegation that in partnership with UNIDO, they will be funding the project with the amount of $14 million while they make serious efforts in approaching other partner institutions to fund the balance. He made it clear that the release of funds for the Matotoka-Koidu highway will be done as soon as the documents submitted are reviewed and submitted for approval to OFID’s Board of Directors.

    Ambassador Stevens and Minister Konteh expressed their regret for President Koroma’s absence which unfortunately had to do with pressing state matters. “However, we sincerely appreciate OFID’s support to Sierra Leone, particularly your commitment to funding the Matotoka–Koidu highway and the Moyamba Hydro project which will be a big boost for N’jala University as well as supporting both the fishing and agricultural industries in the district,” Minister Konteh mentioned. Minister Richard Konteh also expressed interest in OFID’s support for capacity building.

    Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jr., on assignment in Vienna”


    • Benjamin Jones, Kandeh Yumkella has received many awards and recognitions in appreciation for the work he has done globally but as the saying goes “a prophet is never appreciated in his hometown” Can you please tell us the UNIDO projects that came to Sierra Leone before and after Yumkella’s tenure there in terms of quantity and quality?

      Maybe then you might start to appreciate what he was able to do for his home country while there. Below are just some of the awards and recognitions he has received globally from nations grateful for his work and service to humanity in the global village we live in.

      Yumkella Awarded Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa)

      ADO EKITI, March 31, 2012 – For leading various initiatives and promoting increased international cooperation in the field of sustainable industrial development, trade capacity building, UN-business partnerships, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation around the world, UNIDO Director General, Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella has received numerous awards around the world.

      Today, at Ekiti State University in Nigeria, the Sierra Leonean born Yumkella was awarded the Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) degree in recognition of his leadership and outstanding service to the global community.

      Mr. Yumkella is also the recipient of the following awards and recognition:
      Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) conferred to him by TERI University, New Delhi in October 2011, in recognition of his achievements and contributions to society.
      Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) awarded to him by President Ernest Bai Koroma in his capacity as chancellor of Njala University in Sierra Leone on March 12, 2011 for his “exceptional record of service to human development throughout the world.”
      Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) awarded in September 2008 at the 150th Year Special Convocation and Valedictory Function at University of Madras, India.
      2008 Champion of Youth Award at the 4th World Youth Congress, held in Quebec City, Canada.
      The 2008 Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
      The “Prix De la Fondation” of the Crans Montana Forum in June 2006 for his global leadership and work in development and was presented by Prince Albert of Monaco the award of the Monaco.

      The Honorary Distinguished Visiting Professorship by the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade in March 2006, China.
      He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois (1991) and a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University (1986) in the USA and B.Sc. Division One (Cum Laude) in General Agriculture from Njala University College (1982).

      Dr. Yumkella with two other recipients, Vice President of Ghana Dr John Dramani Mahamand and Professor Emeritus and former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Tekena Nitonye Tamuna.

  10. Could someone tell me what President Koroma did for Sierra Leone before he became the President? People voted for him mainly because of party line. His Insurance Company wasn’t big enough to shower for his campaigns. KKY has gone beyond party, tribal, regional and religious lines to be a highly credible person.

    The N G C party has come to stay and is going to create a history in Sierra Leone. KKY is a Susu by tribe from Northern Sierra Leone and has connection with the Fula people who surprisingly are now the third largest tribe in Sierra Leone. His Mother is a Fula by tribe. KKY’s wife is a Mende from Bo City, southern Sierra Leone and has connection in Kailahun in Eastern Sierra Leone where her mother came from. KKY is highly educated and has a clean record. He is an economist. His party, the N G C chairman is a Creole from Freetown, Western Sierra Leone.

    This is the party many Sierra Leoneans have come to respect because of the dignified leader KKY. SLPP party rejected and discouraged him. It was a hard decision for him to quit, since knowing yourself is not an insult. N G C Party invited him and embraced him as their leader. Sierra Leone is surely going to see a change – come 2018.

    • Kandeh Yumkella has done more for Sierra Leone before becoming a presidential candidate than any other presidential candidate in our history but Salone man nor get tenki, instead they say he should have done more. What did EBK do for Sierra Leone before becoming president? what did Siaka Stevens do?

      What did Momoh do? what did Tejan Kabbah do? Infact this question was never asked of any other candidate except Kandeh, why is he been held to a different standard?

      I would proffer that it’s because he has a squeaky clean and impeccable resume that cannot be blotted or smeared so they had to find something, pure and simple.

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