Delivering the SDGs in Sierra Leone
27 January 2020
Local government in Sierra Leone is focusing on procurement and Local Economic Development to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals with a special event this month.
Procurement is a key entry point for Local Economic Development (LED) and CLGF, in partnership with the Local Council Association of Sierra Leone (LOCASL), has been working on a DFID funded project to review procurement policy and look at how this can be actively used to support economic development at council level in Sierra Leone.
At a meeting held in Port Loko on 22 and 23 January, city mayors, district chairpersons, chief administrators and development, finance and procurement officers came together with representatives of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Finance. Facilitated by LOCASL and CLGF, they were able to explore a new, simplified procurement guideline for councils in Sierra Leone. Discussions focused on local government’s role in delivering LED and how local procurement practices can be instrumental in this process.
The meeting included a presentation about CLGF’s work on LED across the Commonwealth, as well as the pilot projects underway with councils in Ghana to develop and implement LED strategies and build awareness in the community on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Discussions also focused on the opportunities within current procurement processes to make bidding processes and contracts more accessible for local businesses; and the requirements in the 2020 Budget speech for local contracting in procurement, including exclusive access to contracts under Le 500 million for local business.
Participants were able to look at their council development priorities; the opportunities for supporting LED in their local areas; and the support they need from other organisations and arms of government to achieve these goals.
Opening the meeting, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Lamina, said: “Within the current decentralisation policy, LED issues are very prominent. The goal in Sierra Leone’s decentralisation policy is to ensure that the local people and their communities are empowered and fully involved in political and socio-economic development processes and actually formulate and implement development plans.”
Adams Tommy, Project Manager from the Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation Project at the Ministry of Finance, and the expert consultant in developing the Local Economic Development and procurement guideline, explained: “A healthy local economy is one in which Leones circulate and re-circulate, and the benefits produced by those Leones are retained within the community, making local people better off and making economic growth possible”.
CLGF Programme Manager, Claire Frost said: “It has been very pleasing to have so many senior officials and experts in attendance, together with highly motivated participants. LED is vital to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and CLGF is committed to supporting our local and central government members in developing LED policies and actions as a concrete means of working towards these ambitious and essential goals."
Speakers included Hon Tamba J.S. Lamina, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development; Hon Harold Tucker, Mayor of Bo City; Hon Komba Sam, Mayor of Koidu City; Hon Abu Bakarr Kamara, Mayor of Port Loko District; Hon Ibrahim Santigie Bangura, Mayor of Port Loko City; and Mr Adams Tommy, Project Manager, Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation Project, Ministry of Finance; Mohamed J. Musa, Director of Procurement, Directorate of Procurement, Ministry of Finance.
CLGF has a regional programme in West Africa focused on supporting decentralisation and local economic development with support from the UK Department for International Development which began in 2017 and runs through 2020. Read more about Sierra Leone in the country profile.
LOCASL is an advocacy body bringing together the 22 local councils of Sierra Leone. It works with Ministry of Local Government other stakeholders in decentralisation and local governance, and the local councils to support good local governance and source opportunities for the local councils for capacity building and and best practices.
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