From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Role Models
Meet A Worthy Son of Bo District: Alhaji Kanja Ibrahim Sesay in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Mar 6, 2006, 13:04

Profile culled from the NaCSA Website of

Alhaji Kanja Ibrahim Sesay is the man at the helm at NaCSA, primarily responsible for the oversight of the Commission with regards to human and financial resource management.

Even in his pre-college and undergraduate days Kanja was marked for leadership and responsibility as seen in his role as Financial Secretary of the Bo District Students Union and Secretary General of the Fourah Bay College Students Union

Born in Bo, Southern Province, Sierra Leone in 1955, Kanja Sesay had his primary education between 1963-1967. He obtained his General Certificate of Education, Ordinary Level at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School, Bo in 1972 and Advance Level at the Bo Government Secondary School in 1975.

Kanja Sesay holds a B.A. (Hons.) Degree from the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone 1980) and an M.A., Development Studies Degree from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands (1987). He also holds a certificate in Executive Management and Strategic Leadership from Templeton College, University of Oxford, and a Certificate in Counter-Disaster Planning and Management, from Mananga Agricultural Management Centre, Swaziland and the Disaster Preparedness Centre, Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield, England (1988).

Kanja, with twenty years of experience in Development, is well equipped to head NaCSA. Even in his pre-college and undergraduate days Kanja was marked for leadership and responsibility as seen in his role as Financial Secretary of the Bo District Studentsí Union and Secretary General of the Fourah Bay College Students Union, a very hot seat at a time when the relationship between students and the then central government was very hostile.

After graduating from University he taught for a couple of years (at the Ahmadiyya and Prince of Wales Secondary Schools in Freetown) before launching a career in the field of development in 1982 as Projects Officer at the Catholic Relief services. Since then knowing that he had discovered what he loved and knew how to do best, he has never looked back.

In 1990 he founded the Association for Rural Development, an indigenous non- profit development agency, which he headed as Executive Director. He was responsible for the design, implementation and monitoring of socio-economic development projects at grass root level. His commitment to the NGO he founded did not deter him from serving his country in other areas.

In April 1994, he became Chairman, Executive Committee of the Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (SLANGO), a position he held until June 1996. SLANGO is a coordinating umbrella organisation of both national and international development organisations working in Sierra Leone.

Between June 1996- June 1997 he was a member of the Board of Directors, Sierra Leone Export and Investment Corporation (SLEDIC), established to initiate activities which would expand, diversify and promote Sierra Leone exports and investments through establishment of medium to small scale industries.

Recognizing his experience in the field of development and his capacity for efficient and dedicated work, he was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Reconstruction Resettlement and Rehabilitation created with the responsibility of addressing the effects of the war in Sierra Leone and of implementing the Reconstruction Resettlement and Rehabilitation Programme designed by the government of Sierra Leone to oversee the National Recovery Programme. To make it more effective in carrying out its mandate, the Ministry was transformed into a Commission in March 1998 to continue with the National Recovery and Reintegration Programme with Kanja as Deputy Commissioner. And in 2001 he became Commissioner, a position he continues to hold even after the Commissionís transformation from NCRRR to NaCSA.

Given the positions he has held since the early eighties Kanja Sesay is bound to have travelled widely across the globe attending dozens of workshops, seminars and conferences and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience in development issues ranging from, among others, peace building and democratisation to participatory development and decentralization of production to management training and institution building.

Kanja is married with 3 children. He loves reading and travelling.

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