By Sayoh Kamara, PRO-MoF
The newly appointed Minister of the re-established Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), has held her maiden meeting with senior officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to explain how she intends to robustly implement the mandate of the Ministry through collaboration in order to achieve its objectives.
Minister Nabeela Farida Tunis (Mrs) met with over forty (40) Permanent Secretaries and Senior Secretaries of Ministries and Heads of Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Friday, 25th May 2018 in the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Finance and was assisted by the Deputy Minister designate, Dr. Robert Tamba Michael Chakanda. The meeting was chaired by the Development Secretary, Mr. John Sumailah.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Sumailah noted the meeting was aimed at repositioning the re-established Ministry in the development of the country through Planning, Research and Monitoring. He informed that the primary focus of the Ministry is to put in motion work for a new Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) that will set the socio-economic development agenda of Government under the New Direction led by H.E. Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio. The existing PRSP, the Agenda for Prosperity, he further noted, expires at the end of 2018. He pointed out that the expectation of the masses for Government to deliver on its promises is very high, and therefore called on the MDAs to stand up to the challenge of ensuring that the PRSP IV is completed on time.
While welcoming her guests and expressing kind sentiments for their huge turnout, Minister Nabeela Tunis noted that together with the heads of the MDAs, she and her staff are determined to take critical steps that are aimed at establishing robust institutional policies and structures for the effective delivery of the mandate of the Ministry.
She explained that the central mandate of the Ministry is to plan, coordinate and monitor Government’s development programmes to ensure they have maximum positive impact on the lives of citizens.
She called for a strong partnership with the MDAs and development partners, noting that the Ministry alone cannot deliver the required successes without the support and cooperation of the MDAS and other development partners.
The Planning and Economic Development Minister announced that wide range consultations on the format of the emerging PRSP IV will start in earnest on 1st June 2018 and that the entire process will end on 30th November 2018.
She however noted that challenges are always bound to be along the tracks of development, but stressed the need to finding answers to those challenges rather than focusing on the challenges themselves. “We cannot just continue focusing on those challenges, when as a matter of fact, we need to move on,” she pointed out.
A brilliant presentation on the direction and structure of the new PRSP was done by Dr. Sheka Bangura, who described the key role of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development as one that provides strategic thinking to inform national development policy direction through rigorous research, analysis and planning of implementation.
Questions and answers from the audience were entertained, which according to the Development Secretary, would form a critical basis for the new PRSP to provide the required policy direction for the next phase of the country’s development.
The meeting ended on a very high note with each MDA requested to begin the process of gathering relevant information to be imputed into the template that would be sent to them by the Ministry.