The ministry of Finance and Economic Development has ended a day’s regional workshop on the review of NGO policy regulations.
The workshop took place at the Kenema District Council hall along Maxwell Khobe Street.
Delivering his speech on behalf of Dr Richard Konteh, the deputy minister in the ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Resident Minister East William Juana Smith said the current NGO Policy Guidelines, and Regulations was revised in 2003 by an extensive collaborative and participatory process that consulted and brought together various stakeholders.
He said, “the government recognizes the contributions made by NGOs in the past in various parts of Sierra Leone through the provision of shelter, education, healthcare facilities, water and sanitation, training and other activities of sustenance in our urban and rural areas”.
Hon. Smith stated that, “the government is committed to foster the smooth operations of NGOs without compromising the principles of accountability and transparency”.
He continued, “as partners in development our prime goal is to reduce poverty. We acknowledge the critical role of NGOs in this process as they have demonstrated greater capacity to give assistance directly to the needy living in remote and devastated areas where government’s services are limited due to numerous constraints. Government therefore looks forward to continue support from donors, both local and international who have made the work of NGOs in Sierra Leone possible. Our expectation as Government is that instead of NGOs spreading out their activities, which limits visible impacts, let them concentrate on few lines of activities in a demarcated area to expect meaningful impact”.
Shella Davies, coordinator of SLANGO in her statement, said, “NGOs have done a lot in the development of Sierra Leone and it is nearly five years now that the document has not been reviewed”. She said the activities of NGOs needed to be coordinated and that the workshop was just to look at the document to see and address some of the issues in it.
The ceremony was chaired by Solomon B.E. Scott, director in the ministry of Finance and Economic Development.