The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) has on Friday 12th January presented the draft of Sierra Leone New National Development Plan to Civil Society Organizations at the Ministry’s headquarters in Freetown.

The meeting brought together Civil Society heads or representatives who were all but prepared to listen and make great contributions during the meeting.

In his welcome address, the Director of NGO Affairs who represented the Deputy Minister of MoPED Mr. Eric Massallay told the gathering that the meeting was called to inform the invited guests on their preparation on the new development plan as they have ended the Medium Term National Development Plan for five years which started in 2018 to 2023.

He furthered that they as ministry cannot do it alone thus the reason why they are meeting with CSOs to help develop a document that will stand a test of time adding that they had several challenges in meeting the entire target in the Medium-Term National Development Plan among which are finance and time.
Mr. Massally revealed that 5 years is not enough for the implementationof the MTND especially when the priorities are enormous and that the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development has decided to have a seven years New National Development Plan to run from 2024 to 2023.

He stated that the Government has been able to map out priority areas to be considered in the New National Development Plan within the seven years but called on CSOs to give in their own support in finalizing the draft document for it proper implementation.

In his statement, the Acting Development Secretary Mr. Osman Conteh who represented the Hon. Minister of Planning and Economic Development expressed his thanks appreciation to the CSOs for honoring their invitation and warmly welcomed all and sundry to such planning meeting.
He said that the engagement was part of the preparatory process towards the development of the New National Development Plan stating that series of similar engagement has taken place in the past and that they saw the need to meet and engage the CSOs as they are key stakeholders in the development of the country.

Mr. Conteh noted that the purpose of the engagement is for the CSOs to have thorough understanding on the New National Development Plan and evaluation process and to enable them make meaningful input into the process.

He revealed that the specific objective of the engagement includes: Sensitize youths and children about the government’s big five game changer agenda, Consult youths and children on the formulation of the new national development plan for the next seven years (from 2024-2030), accelerate the plan and evaluation process and to enhance inclusive government in national development planning process
He furthered cataloged some of the successes scored since the commencement of the Medium Term Development Plan in 2019 to 2023, the following were achieved:

Education – under the free quality school education program, school enrollment increased in excess of one million.

 Health- maternal mortality rate currently stand at less than 500 deaths per 100,000 live births, more than 700 in 2019 and more than 1,000 death in 2013.

Justice- since the country’s legal aid board was established in 2015; more than 1,200,000 less privileged persons received aid legal services from the board.

He called on the CSOs who are the eyes and mouthpiece of the public to greatly contribute into the drafting process of the MTNDP for 2023 to 2024 and to make the engagement a success.