According to the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Central Union, Abubakarr Bangura the award was given to ODA for making great strides in coordinating and harnessing the diaspora towards the development of the country. ‘’ Last year we signed MoU with ODA, and they have been working accordingly towards that direction’’ Mr. Bangura pointed out.
Receiving the award, the Director of the ODA, Mr Kallay Musa Conteh expressed delight for the award. ‘’I am dedicating this award to all the staff of ODA for their relentless effort to effectively implementing the diaspora concept’’ said ODA Director. He promised that they are going to do more in promoting diaspora activities towards the development of the country.
Meanwhile, one of the exciting and laudable initiatives of President Ernest Bai Koroma when he assumed leadership of Sierra Leone in 2007 was to establish the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA),
The ODA aimed at laying the foundation for a productive and mutually beneficial partnership between the government of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Diaspora.
The specific goals of the ODA including reversing the nation’s brain drain to brain gain; by identifying Sierra Leone professionals in the diaspora and encouraging them to come home and contribute to nation building, encouraging diaspora investment; by creating a suitable environment for investments, and also work towards formalizing diaspora remittances . By and large, the Office of Diaspora Affairs has been making great progress in the execution of its mandates.