By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Kenyeh Barlay, during a Government Press Conference convened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Room on Tower Hill in Freetown, on Tuesday 16th January, 2024, disclosed an extension of the National Development Plan from the traditional 5-year cycle to a 7-year plan, spanning from January 2024 to December 2030.
Pointing out that the National Development Plan is aligned with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Minister Barlay highlighted the inclusive nature of the planning process, involving consultations with over 8,000 citizens nationwide.
She informed that the National Plan is designed based on the People’s Aspirations and guided by the five key priorities of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio.
Minister Barlay clarified that the Feed Salone Project is not a political ploy but a strategy to expedite economic development adding that with agriculture constituting 50% of the country’s GDP, the project aims to enhance such. She further maintained that economic diversification; Governance, Climate Resilience, Gender Mainstream Financing, Implementation and Resource Mobilization are the core enablers of the National Development Plan.
Speaking on the plan’s importance, Hon. Musa Fofanah, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Local Governance and former Chair of the Economic Development Planning Committee in Parliament, outlined achievements in Health, Education, Energy, and Mining sectors. He highlighted reductions in maternal mortality rates, increased energy generation, and successful reforms in the mining sector.
Executive Director of the Institute of Governance Reform, Andrew Lavali, called upon citizens to embrace and align themselves with the National Development Plan to actualize their dreams and aspirations. He urged Sierra Leoneans to take ownership of the plan and work collectively towards its success for the benefit of all.
Citing IGR’s Biometer report on President Bio’s promises from the previous year, it was revealed that 79% of the promises were either partially achieved or fully realized.
The National Development Plan is slated for public release by January 30, 2024, offering citizens insight into the Government’s vision and strategies for the nation’s development.