Freetown- The newly-elected member to the Civil Society Peacebuilding and State building Executive Committee (CSPPS –EC) to the International Secretariat of the New Deal on the G7+Countries in October 2015, representing Sierra Leone CSOs who also doubles as the Secretary to the CSOs Core Group of the New Deal process in Sierra Leone, was recently nominated to co-chair one of the three (3) Work streams of the New Deal, referred to as the Peer Support and Focal Point Coordination Work stream at the CSSPS Executive level in Finland.
Mr. Foday D.M. Sesay, who is also the Executive Director of Democracy and Development Associate-Sierra Leone (DADA-SL) and Chairman, National Federation of Civil Society and Media Organizations in Sierra Leone, was on Tuesday 15th December 2015, presented to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kelfala Marah and the rest of the Core Group members (SLANGO, DADA-SL, SDI, CGG, EJEN, Sky Women Network, Non-State Actors, WANEP-SL, CADA-SL, WASHNET, FAMBLE TOK, Health for All Coalition and AMNET championed by the Coordinator of SLANGO and Country Focal Point on the Neal Deal, Ms Shellac Sonny-Davies at an impressive ceremony at the Minister’s conference room, George Street in Freetown.
Mr. Sidi Bah, Head of the Non-State Actors Secretariat, located at the Ministry of Finance, intimated colleagues that the Minister was enthusiastic to attend the meeting while Mrs. Shellac Sonny Davies, Head of the Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (SLANGOs)/New Deal Focal Point, introduced members of the Core Group and activities to be undertaken.
Ms. Shellac Sonny Davies disclosed that Mr. Foday D. M. Sesay has been elevated to the position of member of the CSPPS at the International Secretariat in recognition of the invaluable work done by CSOs Core Group and Platform members on the New Deal in Sierra Leone, presented the most recent report of their activities, interventions, challenges and priorities to the Minister and appealed for inclusion.
She further added that the New Deal calls for principles of coordination of platform network, civic engagement, individual and collective and stressed the need to strengthen relationships with government, development partners/donor community and the private sector and appealed to the Minister to kindly ensure the provision of technical support and professional advice to the Core Group and the CSOs New Deal Platform in the country.
Mrs. Abie Elizabeth Kamara, Deputy Director of DACO, New Deal Focal Point who also doubles as Co-Chair for the International Dialogue Platform at the G7+Countries, representing the Sierra Leone Government, intimated the meeting that the first fragility assessment was done in 2012, that unlike other countries, CSOs in Sierra Leone did not fully participate in the process, adding that she wanted Sierra Leone to do more and reiterated the need for CSOs to be united by resolving their teething problems, irrespective of their different mandates.
She went on to reveal that some funding is available in New York to support peacebuilding and state building and stressed the need for collaboration for Sierra Leone to move from fragility to a resilient state.
Edward Jumbla of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) affirmed that CSOs are together as was demonstrated at the well-attended meeting, guaranteeing that they would continue to work together to make certain that Sierra Leone participates in global forums as it is losing a lot as well as give urgent attention to reclaiming lost opportunity and that CSOs are proud of the minister for creating the fairly level playing field.
He also dilated on the early warning signs of conflicts including domestic violence, noting that although diverse, CSOs are 95% united and inclusive.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Kelfala Marah stated that no one individual or group can do it alone, and affirmed the need for all to cross-fertilize, that CSOs checkmate government, that MDAs that fail to properly prepare their budgets before presentation to Parliament are asked to step down and admonished CSOs to understand the New Deal.
According to the minister, donor partners dictate the terms of development, that donors go through Government by signing the mutual accountability framework, adding that the World Health Organization, among others, has not accounted for Ebola funds, revealing that all NGOs that received Ebola funds would be audited but lamented that nobody questions them.
Dr. Marah furthered that his office is always open to CSOs and called on them to challenge him on how the budget is executed, allocations to youths and women, that CSOs must ensure that donors abide by various agreements and that he is working to create a balanced spirit of mutual accountability framework to hold all partners accountable.
Courtesy of (SLENA)