ECOWAS National Office Ends Sensitization Tour in Sierra Leone

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By James Samba

As part of the continued development strides of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, the ECOWAS National Office in the Ministry has on Wednesday 25th September, 2019 ended a 3-day collaborative sensitization tour with line MDAs targeting Senior Secondary Pupils and key Stakeholders in Port Loko, Bombali and Tonkolili districts in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone.

The main objective of the tour was to improve on ECOWAS visibility in Sierra Leone by showcasing the achievements gained, challenges, activities, programs and projects been undertaken in Sierra Leone on behalf of ECOWAS. The activity was also conducted to reiterate the importance and post Vision 2020  of the Union to the people of this country.

The team, which comprises of committee members drawn from the ECOWAS Volunteer Team, National Revenue Authority (NRA), ministries of Planning, Social Welfare, Trade and Works went under the auspices of Dr. Francis M. Kai-Kai, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, who continues to reiterate on a ‘People-centered’ approach and ownership of government development programs.

Speaking to students at the Magburaka Boy’s High School, the team, headed by the ECOWAS Desk Officer, Yousuf F. Benga-Samah explained the roles, benefits and opportunities of ECOWAS in member states serving as a conduit between ECOWAS Commission and other Government institutions in each member state, which comprises 15 countries.

The campaign which focused on the “ECOWAS Vision 2020” and beyond addressed specific benefits the country gains from the Union including, the ECOWAS trade liberalization schemes, assistance from ECOWAS to the Trade Ministry, the West African Power Pool Network (fiber optic connections), benefit of ECOWAS youth training in Benin and Mali and Sierra Leone’s contributions to Peacekeeping in Mali and Guinea Bissau among many others.

Addressing pupils at the St. Joseph’s Convent School in Makeni, The Senior Social Services Officer- Gender Policy, Harry Mahoi explained to the pupils about the benefit of the ECOWAS scholarship of excellence for girls in Universities, which helps to fund their college tuition fees. He said this year alone over 45 students, mainly girl are benefitting from this scheme for their excellence in academia. He encouraged the young girls to continue working hard so as to benefit from this ECOWAS scholarship program.

One of the beneficiaries of the tour, Mariama Kamara, an SSS II student at the Government Secondary School for Girls, Magburaka, expressed her appreciation of the lecture, noting that this will further motivate them to do well in order to benefit from the scholarship scheme.

Also, the Country Coordinator, ECOWAS Volunteer program, Angela Ngozi in all the districts visited expressed the continued commitment and support of ECOWAS to the people of Sierra Leone.

 

 

 

 

 

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