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  “ The decision of JICA to work through this ministry in sup[port of  our Local Councils is a step in the right direction and is in line with my determination to  ensure that my ministry is fully aware of , and provides the required policy oversight,

technical and monitoring support to all development initiatives implemented by local councils and other interested parties, working in support of the Decentralisation Programme” he averred, stressing that his ministry will ‘strongly frowned’ at any support intervention encroaching on its mandate without recourse to it for endorsement, and where necessary for approval as well. Government, he said has invested and continue to invest massively in building the capacities of local council to deliver basic services at local levels. Even though a lot more needs to be done to get the councils at the desired level of capacity, he commended the local councils for exhibiting some level of competence, ability and responsibility in promoting development activities of their respective councils. He was pleased to note that the CDCD Project was successfully implemented and its gains are visible in the project locations notwithstanding the obstruction it experienced due to the Ebola outbreak and congratulated JICA’s project team and his ministry staff for a work well done. The minister emphasised the need to constitute a Central Monitoring Committee under his chairmanship to demonstrate the importance he attaches to monitoring and entreated the beneficiary local councils to step up their commitment level in ensuring that the project activities are implemented on a timely basis and resources are properly accounted for. Speaking on behalf of JICA, the Senior Adviser of the agency, based in Tokyo, Hirabayashi Atsutoshi expressed appreciation for stakeholders continued support to the CDCD Project in the Northern Region and pledged their continued support.

of the country. He was pleased to join other stakeholders at the meeting to discuss and agree on the selection and criteria of each project to be implemented and the new target districts of Bombali, Tonkolili and Koinadudgu Districts from the Northern Province in 2017 and 2018. The JICA Senior Adviser said the forum will drive the CDCD Project in the right direction in an effort to accelerate recovery from the Ebola crisis. Giving a brief historical sketch of the project, Mr. Atsutoshi said the project started in November, 2009 with the purpose of strengthening the structures and functions of the district councils and ward committees to manage the district and rural development activities in Kambia and PortLoko districts. He was confident that the project community –based approach would be reflected in the voices of the local people and urged Sierra Leoneans to own the project and ensure it is implemented in a sustainable manner.  The meeting which was chaired by the Senior Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Donald Ngegba was climaxed by signing of project documents by the minister, JICA’s Senior Advisor and councils’ representatives, followed by and presentations on progress an achievements of the project by  the Coordinator of Gobifo Project and representatives from Port Loko and Kambia Districts.

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