Sierra Leone – We Can’t Go it Alone
(And You Won’t)
How Sierra Leone Embarks on Domestic Policy for 2016 with an Eye to the Sustainable Development Goals
In an announcement to the parliament President Koroma underscored the need to address Sierra Leone’s key priorities, health, education, provision of water and electricity. Indeed this is an about-face from his suggestion to build a secondary airport that would have cost over $400M.
What’s clear about these priorities is how they tie directly to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
With excerpts taken from President Koromoa’s speech I decided to organize them against the Sustainable Development Goals with quite are bit of success as well as identify who those implementing partners would b to embark on such an ambitious project in the wake of the post-ebola crisis. Those are at the end with the responsible agencies.
It starts at Goal 3 because… that’s where it starts. I am only reporting to you gentle reader.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
In 2016 and 2017 the Ministry of Health will prioritize maintaining resilient zero cases of EVD and address the other factors that would help to drastically reduce maternal and child mortality.
We will continue to provide the necessary equipment, intensify monitoring, improve medical waste management and WASH in health facilities to ensure zero infections in health facilities.
We will establish a Postgraduate Medical Training Institute to train Specialist Medical Doctors locally. The Act for the establishment of a Postgraduate Medical Training College will soon be presented to Parliament for ratification.
Consistent with our mandate, we are relocating our people from disaster-prone areas to designated and well-planned locations. Already, action is being taken to relocate victims of the flood disaster of 16th September this year.
We have established the National Protected Area Authority (NPAA) to serve as a regulatory body against the encroachment on State land and set up the National Conservation Trust FUND (NCTF). Two hundred and fifty nine thousand, three hundred (259,300) forest tree seedlings across the country have been raised and distributed.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
“In education, our goal has been to reopen safe schools, improve access and ease costs of sending kids to school on parents and guardians, and foster a conducive learning environment.
To date, my Government has paid for and supported the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to conduct all school level exams, including those that should have been conducted before schools were closed in 2014.”
The onus here will be the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) to take over teacher management so that it could contribute to improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools; using school feeding to enhance retention in schools; and developing minimum standards for institutions at all levels of education.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
The Three Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project for Bo, Kenema and Makeni is now over 65% complete and is expected to be in full operations by March 2016. Water Supply Projects in Pujehun, Kailahun, Lunsar, Mile91/Yonibana, Lungi Phase I, Kambia and Kabala have been completed.
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RWSSP) geared towards provision of water supply to over 625,000 rural inhabitants in Pujehun, Bonthe, Koinadugu and Kambia Districts is on track. Feasibility studies and preliminary designs for the Port Loko, and Koidu-New Sembehun water projects are now being reviewed by the Kuwaiti Fund.
We have also taken steps to improve water supply in the Western Area, particularly to low income earners. The Thunder Hill Water Supply is 65% complete, the Sumaila Town Community Water Supply is 80% complete and the construction of Waterloo Gravity System is 85% complete. When all these come on stream in 2016, there would be a considerable increase in access to safe and affordable water. The Rokel Water Supply Project (New Dam) for Freetown is now in advanced stages of funds mobilization.
Partners: International Office for Water, Institut Méditerranéen de l’Eau, Euro-Mediterranean Water Information System (EMWIS), Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations, United Nations Environmental Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP-MAP), Arab League Center for Water, Ministry of Water and Irrigation (Jordan), Ministry of Energy and Water (Lebanon), Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment (Morocco), Ministry of Agriculture and water resources (Tunisia)
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Government’s objective remains 1000 megawatts by 2017 to increase access to energy in Freetown, provincial headquarter cities and rural areas.
The call to action also reaches cross-boundary… yet another opportunity for ECOWAS cooperation. Countries mentioned were indeed Cote D’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) Project funded by the African Development Bank. The project will provide a 225 KV Transmission line across seven districts (Pujehun, Kenema Kono, Tonkolili, Bombali, Koinadugu and Kambia). The CLSG project will also encompass a rural electrification component from which, twenty-six (26) communities, including schools and health centres will be provided with electricity supply. Partners: Africa Sustainable Energy Association, Nigeria Alternative energy Consortium, Southern Africa Alternative Energy Association
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
In the Financial Sector, Government through the efforts of the National Commission for Privatization and the Bank of Sierra Leone has recapitalized the Rokel Commercial Bank, and, NASSIT had invested Le19bn in the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank ’s equity to bring them in conformity with prescribed regulatory framework.
The Bank of Sierra Leone continues to promote financial sector development by providing the appropriate regulatory framework to enable the use of a new generation of financial instruments and types of transaction such as mobile financial services.
The Sierra Leone parliament recently approved a finance bill – now referred to as the Appropriation Act 2016, authorizing the government to raise and spend about Le4 Trillion (Four Trillion Leones) through the Consolidated Revenue Fund, starting 1st of January 2016.
No small feat.
The 2016 projected funding gap between revenue generated through taxation, donor funds, and total spending is enormous – over Le2 Trillion.
Let’s keep watch over Sierra Leone and encourage them toward these projects. As well all know this is indeed Africa and things happen. That isn’t to say the government isn’t working together with other agencies and collaborating with the international community at large and several of them will be referenced here so as to be less abstract.
Partners: United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), Federation of Industries of the State of Parana (Brazil), Airport Group of the South of Mexico (ASUR), International Peace Foundation (ROK), Kuala Lumpur City Hall Training Institute (Malaysia), Regional Cooperation Office for City Information (China), Moray Council (Scotland), Municipality of Plock (Poland), City of Antwerp (Belgium),
Municipality of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), E-thekwini Municipality (South Africa), Decentralized Government of the Province of Pichincha (Ecuador), Ministry of Interior and Local Authorities (Algeria),
Vice presidency of the Republic of El Salvador, Kennesaw State University (USA).
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
The Bank of Sierra Leone continues to promote financial sector development by providing the appropriate regulatory frameworks to enable the use of a new generation of financial instruments and types of transaction such as mobile financial services. (in plain speak it means better mechanisms for transparency and the elimination of graft and kick-backs).
The Bank is putting in place the infrastructure to support a modern payments and settlement system; and also preparing a National Financial Inclusion strategy with the objective of increasing access to affordable finance.
Partners: Young African Leaders Initiative, Congo Leadership Initiative, United States Department of State, SNV (Netherlands Development Organization, DRC), United Nations Volunteers, Clinton Global Initiative Cite:
17 Sustainable Development Goals 17 Partnerships
Division for Sustainable Development DESA, 2015
Sierra Leone Telegraph