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NEWS : Politics  

APC Cabinet Ministers Head to Port Loko for Inaugural SLIBS Meet
By Abdul M. Bangura
Jul 29, 2016, 17:12
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Today Friday July 29th 2016 will see all Cabinet Ministers and many top State House officials, assemble at the Port Loko District Council Hall for the inaugural national workshop  of the Sierra Leone International Benchmarks System (SLIBS)

 

The two-day workshop which will be opened at 10:00am by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, is being organized by the SLIBS Presidential Oversight Committee which is actually chaired by the President himself.

 

H.E. Dr Ernest Bai Koroma: President of Republic of Sierra Leone

 

A release issued few days ago from State House, indicates that International Benchmarks are set to guide the governance and development processes of countries. They also provide the basic for periodic assessment of the progress made by those countries towards meeting set targets.

 

A total of 33 Benchmarks have been identified under 179 themes with over 1,289 indicators. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) alone are 17 in number with about 240 indicators. Apparently, these Benchmarks have not been treated seriously by the institutions supposed to manage and report on them in Sierra Leone. In most cases, relevant data is unavailable and where available, are outdated and therefore, not reflective of the actual situation. This is responsible for the countrys poor ratings over the years.

 

Dr Joseph Sam Sesay: Adviser to President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma

 

Mindful of the importance of the Benchmarks to the countrys image and general development, His Excellency the President is now very focused on the effective management and delivery of these Benchmarks by assigning oversight responsibility to his Special Advisers (SAPs) under the coordination of Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay. Within a couple of months of that initiative of his Excellency, much progress has been made in setting the stage for effective work on the Benchmarks at State House, MDAs, Civil Society and international development partners. Several consultations, presentations and discussion on the Benchmarks have been made at various levels including the Cabinet, UN Country team, MDAs.

 

Given the enormity of the task of effectively managing and delivering on the Benchmarks with over 1,289 indicators, there is need to prioritize and synthesize them in accordance with the countrys development agenda. This can be better done in a platform of diverse shades of opinion which a retreat can provide. The two days retreat is therefore set to achieve the following objectives:

 

i. Further awareness raising on the Benchmarks for Sierra Leone and underscoring their importance to the countrys progress and development.                                                              

ii. Prioritizing the Benchmarks to meet our national goals.

iii. Validation of:

a) Their alignment with the pillars of the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P)                                                     (b) The consolidation of the A4P pillars & and the Benchmarks with the proposed broad thematic areas of governance.

(c) Developing strategies for a functional database, MIS and an efficient IEC/PR mechanism on the Benchmarks.

(d) Agreeing on strategies for data gathering, reporting system (format, periodicity, reporting channels and responsibilities). It can be recalled that an earlier Press Release from State House dated 23rd June 2016, had announced the formation of SLIBS thus:

 

THE GENERAL PUBLIC MAY WISH TO NOTE THAT INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARKS ARE USED TO ASSESS AND RANK THE PERFORMANCE OF COUNTRIES GLOBALLY AND THAT THEY INFLUENCE BUDGETARY SUPPORT AND PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENTS, ESPECIALLY FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS.

 

THE BENCHMARKS INCLUDE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs), MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION (MCC), DOING BUSINESS, PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK (PAF), COUNTRY POLICY & INSTITUTIONAL ASSESSMENT (CPIA), UN BENCHMARKS, THE AFRICAN PEER REVIEW MECHANISM (APRM), THE MO IBRAHIM INDEX OF AFRICAN GOVERNANCE (IIAG), AFRICAN LEADERS MALARIA ALLIANCE, AND THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (EITI).

 

REALIZING THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF THESE BENCHMARKS, THERE IS URGENT NEED TO PUT MODALITIES IN PLACE FOR THE ALIGNMENT OF SIERRA LEONES INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARKS WITH THE GOVERNMENTS AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY (A4P), TRACKING, MONITORING, REPORTING AND POPULARIZING THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.

 

TO THIS END, IT HAS PLEASED HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT TO ANNOUNCE THE FOLLOWING:

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PRESIDENTIAL OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE TO SERVE AS THE POLICY BODY, WHICH HE WILL CHAIR;

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON THE SIERRA LEONE INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARK SYSTEM (SLIBS) TO COORDINATE AND ENSURE THE TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING, REPORTING AND POPULARIZATION OF THE BENCHMARKS BY MDAs, TO BE HEADED BY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT;

THE APPOINTMENT OF DR. JOSEPH SAM SESAY, SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT AS THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF SLIBS, TO BE SUPPORTED BY THE OTHER TWO SPECIAL ADVISERS TO THE PRESIDENT, AMBASSADORS DAUDA SULAIMAN KAMARA AND ALHAJI DR ALPHA KANU IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE STRATEGY AND POLICY UNIT (SPU) IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

 

HIS EXCELLENCY HAS DIRECTED THAT THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR AND TEAM SHOULD PUT MODALITIES IN PLACE FOR THE SUCCESSFUL ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF SLIBS UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT.

 

END

STATE HOUSE

FREETOWN
23RD JUNE, 2016


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