AUGUST 23, 2014 By Regina Pratt
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mrs. Diana Konomanyi-Kabba, on Tuesday (19 August) launched a five-year strategic plan of the National Council of Paramount Chiefs at the conference hall of her ministry.
The minister said the launch of the plan was a huge achievement as it underscores government’s support for and effort to bestow on the institution of chieftaincy a strategic direction.
“My ministry has fully supported and worked with the National Council of Paramount Chiefs in the development and implementation of the Code of Ethics and Service Standards for chiefs,” she said, adding that “we are going to carry out our oversight responsibilities to ensure the Code and Service Standards are fulfilled”.
She said that the five-year strategic plan was prepared at a very suitable time and that the National Council of Paramount Chiefs has demonstrated their commitment to developing institutional means to support their colleagues.
The minister thanked the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) for their support in preparing the document, as well as the National Council of Paramount Chiefs and its chairman Charles Caulker, Access to Security and Justice Program (ASJP), and consultant Professor Joe A.D. Alie for their commitment in finalizing the document.
WANEP National Coordinator, Edward K. Jombla, said one way of rebranding chieftaincy in Sierra Leone was the novelty of developing a unique strategic plan which now gives chiefs a new focus and redirects their attention to attracting development to serve their people.
He emphasized that the strategic plan could be useless without the relevant budgetary allocation being made available for its implementation.
Jombla said WANEP would remain committed to providing the necessary technical support to the Council throughout the implementation of the plan, and called on donors and partners working with the Council to coordinate and synergize efforts to realize the vision of chieftaincy in Sierra Leone.
He said they were grateful to the United Nations Democracy Fund for providing funds for the process, and also thanked Professor Alie, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for their leadership role in the process.
ASJP team leader, Charles Jakosa, said the strategic plan is an historic document as it is a novelty in the country, adding that the Code of Ethics is unique. He said chiefs are responsible leaders and congratulated them on putting together the plan.
He said they would work with the chiefs because they represent the voice of the people.
Professor Alie gave a brief background to the plan, and revealed that it took nine months of reading several literatures on chieftaincy in Sierra Leone and other countries for the plan to be finalised.
Chairman Council of Paramount Chiefs, PC Charles Caulker, assured Sierra Leoneans that the new five-year plan would provide them the direction which they are expected to follow.
He thanked WANEP and the United Nations Democracy Fund for providing the resources, Professor Alie for spearheading the process, and the ministry. He concluded that their biggest challenge is the need for a technical expert to help them implement the plan.