By Fatmata Jengbe
At the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development on Tower Hill in Freetown, the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) recently paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, at his office.
The purpose of the meeting was to introduce themselves to the Minister and to share information on the Commission’s activities and challenges so far; and also discuss possible opportunities for future collaboration with the Ministry and ways to coordinate donor support on their behalf.
In his statement, the NCD Chairman, Dr. Abubakarr Kargbo, who noted the importance of the Ministry in the development process of the country; stated that since 1994, when the institution was established, it continues to play a key role in the democratization of the country, but due to the lack of resources in recent years, the NCD has lurked a bit in executing its core function to engineer the promotion of democracy, good governance, patriotism, national development and the exercise of civic rights and responsibilities.
Dr. Kargbo said the Commission is fully committed to work in promoting the President Bio-led Agenda, Human Capital Development and ensuring that service delivery to the people remains an effective component of the Government’s agenda.
Welcoming the delegation, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai expressed his gratitude for the visit. He said such engagement provided the platform for exchange of information and best practices.
Dr. Kai-Kai said over the years, the NCD had demonstrated astute leadership in the execution of their programs promoting democratic good governance, which the country needed. He noted the sentiments and direction of the Commission in their lack of support, but stated the proliferation of Commissions with overlapping functions. He said Government was moving robustly to rationalize overlapping Commissions and to streamline the institutional landscape.
“We need a very strong institutional and governance base; and institutions guarding that space are critical for national development. The NCD fits well in the MTNDP (2019-2023) and as a Ministry we would discuss with possible partners for support to help the institution rise up to its mandate”
He urged the Commission to work with dedication and commitment as they join the Ministry in ensuring that the year 2020, becomes the year of delivery, delivery and delivery.
In the presence of the Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Robert Chakanda and the Development Secretary, Peter Sam-Kpakra, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission presented its 2019-2020 work plan, which included the institutions strategic objectives and deliverables for 2020.