“We want more trade, less aid”

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-President Bio tells development partners

February 27, 2019

By Dusuba Koroma

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President Bio making his presentation

President Bio has yesterday told development partners at the first Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC) meeting held at State House that, Sierra Leone needs more trade and less aid for the betterment of all and sundry.

‘’My government wants more trade and less aid. We want to establish a robust and effective private sector that will be a critical move to the development process,” he said.

President Bio observed that development should be predicated on purposeful planning, with priorities and sectors clearly delineated and tendered to government.

He stated that development plan is a shared vision that sharpens focus with strategic goals, and that it facilitates strategic partnership with collaboration among government partners, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, experts and policy makers.

He added that Sierra Leone has a medium term development plan at hand.

“The medium term national development plan is a product of what I have insisted on in governance. That is, inclusive and purposeful planning for quality service delivery. This plan will help us coordinate all available resources in this country. Our future plan and purpose will be fully aligned to this development plan,” he said.

He promised that government was wholeheartedly and resolutely committed to all parties identified, and that they would not deviate from the defined priority sectors of development.

“These initiatives will cascade down to new economic opportunity that will improve the standard of living for Sierra Leoneans.   We have a strong expectation from you, our development partners. We will work together to achieve what I refer to as wistful overlaps and duplications. We expect that you will align all assistances and supports to the priorities identified in the plan, so that we can estimate the impact of your intervention,” he said.

He continued that, “So, as we listen to the synopsis of national development plan, I look forward to the re-affirming of commitment and aligning the assistance reparative of the planning.
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We will fully subscribe to the principles of mutual transparency and accountability to ensure that we appeal to those principles. We must continue a regular dialogue with you our partners.”

On his part, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Sunil Saigal, thanked the president for initiating the National Development Plan and the principle for collaboration and coordination to achieve the goals of the plan.

“We commend your government for swiftly, upon taking office, to determine the overriding priorities for the next planning g circle and for having tirelessly continuing the new National Development Plan,” he said.

He added that with the new national development plan, they hope to see strong mechanism for job creation, with opportunities in economic development brought in for women and young people.

“Our interest is to build a stronger Sierra Leone and better lives for all Sierra Leoneans.”