Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, through its Public Investment Management Department has brought together focal persons including project developers, planners, economists and engineers among others from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to kick-start a week-long training in project development and understanding project appraisal across government.
The Training of Trainers session was conducted to ensure that the participants get a practical hands-on knowledge in developing projects and to understand appraisal techniques in the Public Investment Management cycle, which would enable them to develop bankable projects for their respective MDAs and even local councils as well as conduct training for their other colleagues in the near future.
Doing the official opening of the training, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai expressed his appreciation to the team of experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for their strides in making the training a success, noting that the session would address the deficiency in project development/conceptualisation and appraisal phases of public investment management system in the country.
Minister Kai-Kai said that despite the tremendous efforts made by the New Direction Government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio in addressing the challenges in several sectors, particularly in infrastructural development, there still remains a challenge among government officers in developing bankable projects that would attract funding from both government and development partners.
He said the training would address this challenge and ensure Sierra Leone benefits from some of the bright brains that they have in government.
“I believe Sierra Leoneans should be able to develop their own projects. I am very determined to help government develop a good crop of young brains to become very good project planners, who will develop concepts, transform them to good project ideas and efficiently manage these projects—working with international partners to transform Sierra Leone in all key sectors”, says Dr. Kai-Kai.
The Minister said that over the years, the country has mostly relied on development partners to carry out feasibility studies and develop projects on behalf of government, which according to him, ‘is unsustainable and will not accomplish the aspirations of government, as contained in the Medium-Term National Development Plan (2019-2023)’.
He entreated the participants to take advantage of the training and serve as efficient and effective trainers in their respective MDAs.
On his part, Martin Darcey, the IMF Expert, Public Investment Management assured the participants of their team’s commitment to provide the training they require to help improve their project management and development skills. He said that project management was a career that would never go away, adding that the participants should embrace and be inspired by it in-order for them to be in a position to make people’s lives better.
The Director of Public Investment and Management Department, Alpha Kapri Bangura, in a brief statement said the training would lead to multiplier benefits such as cost and time savings, quality delivery of projects, increased appetite for development partners and government to fund projects. Director Bangura ended by outlining and briefly explaining the various topics that would be covered in the course of the week.
The training was supported and facilitated by AFRICTAC West 2, the IMF Resident Representation in Freetown and the EU State Building Programme, who provided the logistical support in making this workshop a reality.