Commonwealth dele engages lawmakers on sports development, peace


May 7, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura

A Commonwealth delegation currently in the country yesterday met with the parliamentary Committee on Sports and urged members to explore support on sporting development, peace and post-Ebola recovery programmes.

Head of delegation, Katherine Ellis, said their purpose of visiting the country was to identify two projects which are to strengthen and connect the Sierra Leone youth council and the students union structure in a bid to create an effective and resilient youth platform that would effectively mobilize young people to deliver and design community projects and to strengthen youth vision for Sierra Leone.

Ms. Ellis said they would help the government develop a good policy on youth development as the Commonwealth was impressed with development that had taken place in the youth sector, adding that the other project would support the government develop a national sport development and peace strategy and action plans, respectively.

She further revealed that they would use the framework provided by the Commonwealth Sport for Development and Peace guidelines, adding that they hope the strategy would contribute to development goals of the country as well as post-Ebola community re-building.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Hassan A. Sesay, told the delegation that the sporting sector was blighted by numerous challenges, including the need for capacity building for institutions that would create and provide sustainable peace across the country.
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“We lack interactions between regions; any of such will help us to know each region’s challenges. If this is done, there will be no political interference in sporting activities which are ongoing now,” said Hon. Sesay, adding that increased interactions would enhance sustainability of peace.

The Commonwealth delegation also includes Malcolm Dingwall, Messeh Kamara (a Sierra Leonean), and Pete Beeley.