Participants drawn from across all facets of society, including paramount chiefs, local councils, heads of MDAs, representatives of both local and international Non-governmental organizations and civil society organisations gathered on Tuesday August 30th 2016 at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown for the National Conference on Community Engagement and Convergence jointly organized by the Office of the Chief of Staff and UNICEF.
Delivering the keynote address, His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma urged the conference to serve as a platform in bringing together the diverse views of stakeholders, come out with a structure and strategy which will not only be used in the ongoing implementation of the 10 - 24 months recovery programme, but also as a new governance approach in the development and transformation of Sierra Leone. He avowed that government and its development partners must stay engaged with the people in implementing development projects.
|President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma delivering his keynote address at the National Conference on Community Engagement and Convergence
According to the State House Chief of Staff, Saidu Conton Sesay, the conference will enhance governance, stronger mutual trust between and among citizens, improves transparency and accountability, better results in service delivery, more meaningful community empowerment, and a stronger national cohesion.
Abdul Rahman Sowa, Director of Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate, described community engagement as an essential component of multi-sectoral response and social mobilization.
The Country Representative of UNICEF who spoke on behalf of the UN Country Team in Sierra Leone, Geoff Wiffin, emphasised the significance of community engagement and ownership in rolling out development projects.
The two-day conference will end today Wednesday August 31, 2016.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.