From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ActionAid Inaugurates General Assembly
By Aruna Turay
Jun 28, 2010, 13:10

ActionAid International Sierra Leone (AAI-SL) has inaugurated its General Assembly during a ceremony held at the Hotel Barmoi, Aberdeen in Freetown. In his remarks on Friday 25th June 2010, the International Director West and Central Africa Region, Mr. Tennyson Williams, said ActionAid started operations in Sierra Leone in 1988 in the Kambia District and has now extended to seven Districts. He went on that AAI-SL has now grown from one that is purely service delivery to that of a development participatory organization over the years. "To attain this growth, accountability, and transparency was of great necessity," Mr. Williams said.

He said the formation of the General Assembly by his organization is a manifestation of how AAI-SL wants to hold itself accountable to those they serve. He said the General Assembly comprises of one representative from each of AAI-SLís areas of operations, adding that the General Assembly is the highest body within the ActionAid family. Highlighting some of the Assemblyís key tasks, Mr. Williams noted that the Assembly is vested with the responsibility of hiring and firing Board Executive Directors and also oversees operations of the organization. The International director appealed to members of the Assembly to be aware that the survival of AAI-SL is solely entrusted on them, adding that if they held regular meetings, they would successfully achieve progress.

On his part, the Guest Speaker for the ceremony, Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. David Omatshola Carew, said the accountability of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) is getting more attention these days as many believe that very little accountability exists from the side of NGOs and INGOs to the people they serve. The Minister commended AAI-SL for forming the Assembly, adding that it is a step in the right direction. He further commended AAI-SL for being the first INGO operating in Sierra Leone with an Assembly comprising of nationals vested with the responsibility of overseeing the organizationís operations. He called on other INGOs to copy the footstep of AAI-SL. Hon. Carew congratulated members of the Assembly while admonishing them that they are representing Sierra Leone in an INGO and for this reason, they should do all in their capacity to uphold the countryís good name.

The ceremony was climaxed with an inauguration ceremony of the over twenty man General Assembly members.

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