The Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED ), Kenyeh Barlay, and the management team have on the 19th March received Seven (7) new Country Directors (CD) from Concern Worldwide, Solthis, BBC Media Action, Sight Savers, World Hope International, Marie Stopes, and Cap Anamur at the Ministry’s Conference Hall in Tower Hill, Freetown.

The Seven Country Directors are, Davina Jeffrey – Concern World Wide, Maurice Kwite – Solthis, Edward Benjamin Kargbo – BBC Media Action, Tangay Elaine Gondoe – Sight Savers, Anna Vines – World Hope International, Mohamed Kabba – Marie Stopes and Marriene Hubner – Cap Anamur

Eric Massally, the National Director of NGO Affairs, outlined the impressive backgrounds of the Country Directors in the development sector, humanitarian work, administration, and media development adding that the Country Directors bring years of valuable experience in their respective sectors of operation which may be of greater impact for the country.

The Country Directors expressed gratitude to the Ministry for creating an enabling environment for NGOs in Sierra Leone. They outlined their responsibilities, areas of work, and commitment to ensuring that their projects are community-led. They eagerly expressed their readiness to continue the fruitful friendship and collaboration with the Ministry and fellow NGOs to enhance the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.

They highlighted key milestones achieved in education, health, agriculture, youth empowerment, microfinance, and social services as well as reaffirming their continued support for the government in terms of assuring a total and sustainable development.

Minister Barlay congratulated the Country Directors on their appointments and dedication to serving in their new roles. She reminded them of how vital their roles are in complementing government efforts and stressed the expectation for the Country Directors to strengthen the relationship between government and their organizations.

She rolled out Sierra Leone’s strategic direction as articulated in the newly launched Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2024-2030, focusing on the government’s “Big Five Game Changers.” These priorities include initiatives aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, human capital development, youth employment, infrastructure development, and public service transformation.

She maintained that the NGOs are expected to also show great concern in supporting government priorities, particularly the ‘Feed Salone’ flagship agenda, youth employment, and the interconnectedness of the other big five game changers and expressed confidence in the strategic guidance provided by the MTNDP 2024-2030.

She called on the  NGO community to continue partnering with the government to provide development services, especially in the most challenging areas of the country.

“We remain committed to providing an enabling environment for NGOs who demonstrate a willingness to support the people of Sierra Leone and contribute to national development in a free, responsive, transparent, and accountable manner,” she stated.

She mentioned the Tax-and Duty-Free Exemption Act of 2023 and the new Finance Act of 2024, which guarantees the opportunity for NGOs to enjoy waiver on some goods they import for their operations.