Speaking on the importance of the MOU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said that the signing of the MOU revealed the depth of the relation between the two countries over the years and that it was another milestone in Ireland and Sierra Leone’s bilateral relations.
Dr. Kabba went on to inform the gathering that a month ago, the country’s medium term National Development Cooperation Framework document which was launched by His Excellency, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio had provided the pathway for Sierra Leone’s development for the next five years.
He said Ireland commitment to invest in the country between 2019-2013 has clearly demonstrated that, they want to continue to support the country’s development priorities as their Strategic Plan mirrored what the ‘New Direction’ government had already articulated in its medium term National Development Plan 2019-2013.
Dr. Kabba said the government development partners had seen the ‘New Direction’ National Development Plan as a framework to engage with in their bilateral ties with Sierra Leone and that the key priority areas of the MOU (agriculture, girl child education, nutrition etc) are consistent with the country’s National Development Plan.
He applauded the government of Ireland for taking the lead in developing the Embassy’s Mission Strategy 2019-2013 and for complementing the ‘New Direction’ Government’s Development Plan 2019-2013.
Minister Kabba assured the team of President Bio’s Government continuous support in the implementation of the Embassy of Ireland’s Mission Strategy 2019-203 through the granting of tax and duty waivers as provided for in the laws of Sierra Leone.
In his statement, Mr Ruairi de Burca, Ireland’s Director General of the Development Cooperation and Africa Division said, they are working with the Government of Sierra Leone to help address some of the challenges in the country through the context of Sierra Leone National Development Plan and that of the Ireland’s Embassy Mission Strategy Plan by signing the MOU.
The signing ceremony of the MOU Mr Burca said, came after they have realigned the Strategic Plan of their Mission in Sierra Leone for the next four to five years, they realized that it was in line with that of the Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan which focuses on women, girls and children, education, health, governance among others.
He said the goal of their Plan is to see that, by the end of its implementation, more women and girls realized their potentials in society, took control of their lives that will help them make meaningful differences and play a pivotal role in the democratic expression of their lives, and also see more girls stay in school and complete their educational careers.
The Ireland Director General of the Development Cooperation and Africa Division said, in order to achieve the goals of their Mission Strategy Plan, the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland will be in a close working relationship with the Government of Sierra Leone to deliver the Government Development Plan, ensure that girls stay in schools and that they will be working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in areas of preventions, women’s health issues, etc.
The Ambassador of Ireland Her Excellency Catherine Campbell made remarked that the Embassy Mission Plan focused on human capital, and that they are looking forward to working with the Government of Sierra Leone and other partners, through their new Mission Strategy Plan to achieve their objectives in the areas of gender, education, nutrition and governance.
She said Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan and the Ireland’s new policy for international development, ‘A Better World’ were launched on the same day at different locations in Freetown and Dublin.
This she said made those documents twin development-oriented documents.
The closing courtesy was delivered by the Director General and Ambassador at Large, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Paul. A.S. Minah.
The ceremony was attended by Directors and Deputy Directors of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.