The European Commission (EC), the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) over the weekend officially launched the joint Country strategy to facilitate partner countries strengthening that development capacity with support from donors at the Kingtom Bank Complex.
The joint strategic plan for Sierra Leone is to build the capacity to plan, manage, implement, and account for results of policies and programmes that are critical for achieving development objectives.
Speaking at the official launching of the country strategic plan Mr. Richard Hogg of the Department for International Development (DFID) said, using aid money, “must be done effectively through the Paris Declaration.”
He added that the strategy is based on Sierra Leone’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for 2005-2007 while another draft of the PRSP is on the way for the European consensus on development for its implementation in the country.
He noted that other countries operating in Sierra Leone should see the document as a support to PRSP on budget rather than off budget to harness interactive cooperation.
He intimated that both organizations will work more closely with each other pointing out that “to reduce risk across all our interventions a mix of instruments will be used, including budget support, sector wide approaches, multilateral trust funds – bilateral programmes and projects.”
Mr Hogg noted that, challenges facing Sierra Leone in the medium term are the need to translate peace and security in to effective delivery of basic public services, building capable government institutions to maintain social and political stability through democratic and accountable government for job creation through economic growth.
The Head of the European Union Delegation Hans Allden expressed thanks and appreciation to the government and its partners in their effort to facilitate aid effectiveness and build the capacity of the under privileged to meet the Millennium Developments Goals (MDGs).
He added that the EC and DFID worked in close collaboration to launch the country’s strategy paper which he said is a step in the right direction and maintained that the Paris Declaration is here to stay for the development of the country.
Officially launching the strategy paper the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Richard Conteh underscored the importance of the paper which he said is geared towards the development of the country through the PRSP.
Minister Conteh encouraged other partners to emulate the European Commission and DFID to work closely with the formulated priorities from the planning instrument of the PRSP.
He also noted that the document was earlier signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Zainab Hawa Bangura in Portugal to harness intervention partners in the process adding that beneficiaries and partners must work hand in hand to monitor and evaluate projects for proper implementation.
He also appealed to partners to organise periodic meetings with the government and its beneficiaries as it will be part of the frame work strategy for project implementation.
Signing of the Memorandum of understanding formed a high point of the launching of the strategy paper.