UN Chief visits Political Affairs Ministry
By Musa Kamara
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Babatunde Ahosi has paid a visit to officials of the ministry of political and public affairs.
Accompanying by Sinoweta Rossi; UN Peace and Development Adviser, Mr. Ahosi stated that the purpose of the visit was to have a clear understanding with regards the mandate of the ministry.
He said the UN Family has over the period maintained a very strong relationship with Sierra Leone in ensuring that an enabling environment is established for peace, unity and national cohesion to flourish.
According to him, the UN mandate for Sierra Leone is to ensure that the country’s developmental priorities become visible. He noted that peace and development are inscribed in both parts of the coin, and by extension, such is visibly spelt out in the government’s Medium Term National Development Plan (2019-2023).
In his response, Political and Public Affairs Minister, Ambassador Mohamed Foday Yumkella, welcomed the team and commended the role played by Sinoweta Rossi in making sure that the Bintumani III Conference on National Dialogue on the Consolidation of Peace and National Cohesion was successful.
He explained that the mandate of the ministry is to promote democratic culture so as to ensure that every Sierra Leonean have the free space to take on issues of governance and accountability.
Deputy Minister, Amara Kallon spoke about the United Nations commitment to Sierra Leone, citing the technical and financial support provided which helped paved the way for a successful outcome of the Bintumani III Conference.
He admitted that the ministry has been largely sidelined over the years by donor partners and some segments of society because of the lack of public education about theirs mandate, which apparently cut across political party lines.
He said the ministry’s framework is to see to it that the general public is well informed on government policies and programmes across ministries, departments and agencies.
According to him, the ministry’s mandate is spelt out clearly in Cluster IV of the Medium Term National Develop Plan.
“We have put together seven strategic pillars which centered on transparency and accountability, peaceful coexistence and social cohesion; aligned with the ministry’s vision of having an informed-empowered society, where everybody’s inputs and outputs count,” he said and added: “Our aim is to reposition the ministry.”