BudgIT-SL launches Youth Club at MMTU

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By Alhaji Haruna Sani

In a significant stride towards fostering active citizenship and promoting transparency in governance, BudgIT Sierra Leone has inaugurated another Youth Club at the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU).

The Milton Margai’s youth club launch was followed by a prior launched at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone on Friday, March 22 this year.

Under the banner of “Empowering Young People to Build a Just and Equitable Future through Active Citizenship,” the launch event marked the beginning of a transformative journey for students across disciplines to advocate for accountability in Public Financial Management.

With a turnout of over 30 students, alongside lecturer and stakeholders, the occasion signaled a new era of civic participation and youth activism on campus.

Addressing the students, Brima Sesay, Country Lead of BudgIT Sierra Leone, welcomed the students as the vanguards of BudgIT’s mission, emphasizing the pivotal role of budgetary transparency in national development.

Giving a brief background of the organisation, Sesay said BudgIT started in Nigeria in 2011 and have expanded to Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and United States. In Sierra Leone, BudgIT started operation in 2020.  

Sesay highlighted BudgIT’s innovative approach in leveraging technology to enhance citizen engagement and drive institutional reforms aimed at fostering societal change.

Providing insights into BudgIT’s evolution and objectives, Sesay underscored the organization’s commitment to partnering with civil society, public institutions, and the media to promote fiscal analysis, civic technology, and data representation.

He said BudgIT seeks to empower young Sierra Leoneans through initiatives focusing on budget literacy, community development, and institutional support.

Delivering a keynote address on the theme of the event, Sesay emphasized the importance of involving young people in decision-making processes and community development initiatives. He highlighted the role of the BudgIT Youth Club in empowering students to demand efficient service delivery, advocate for public fund utilization, and actively participate in the budgetary process.

Sesay said in line with its objectives, BudgIT Sierra Leone aims to increase awareness of budgetary provisions, promote civic engagement, and enhance citizen participation in governance.

He said through capacity-building workshops, youth activism, and a collaborative effort, the organization seeks to foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public financial management.

He averred that Policy fails because “the saints are few, the demons are many, the wizards are inappropriate, the systems are complex and the organizations are weak.

The event also featured a detailed breakdown of Sierra Leone’s 2024 budget by Daniel Conteh, Research and Programmes Officer at BudgIT Sierra Leone, who adeptly elucidated budgetary allocations and complex financial terms for the audience.

His presentation showered participants with much knowledge about budget, leaving many with smiling faces because of his apt but swift and witty presentation.

Climaxing the event was the election of an interim executive body for the BudgIT Youth Club, marked by gender-balanced participation and keen engagement from all attendees.

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