|Government-Development Partners Adopt Mutual Accountability Framework|
By State House Communications Unit
As part of government’s engagement strategy with Development Partners, a Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) was adopted by the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL) and Development Partners at State House on Tuesday 4th February, 2014.
The signing ceremony took place during a meeting chaired by President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and the two Co-chairs of the Presidential Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC) Meeting, the Executive Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen and the World Bank Country Manager, Ato Brown.
President Koroma called for the cooperation of not just development partners but also the support of the people of Sierra Leone for success in the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P). The president said the adoption of the Mutual Accountability Framework affords the opportunity to do things differently for better results. “It provides guidelines for fulfilling our international commitments to the Busan and New Deal principles; and it offers us an opportunity to do more, deliver more and achieve more,” President Koroma said.
According to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Kaifala Marrah, the Mutual Accountability Framework responds to the wish of all parties that the framework should draw on the “New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States” agreed at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness at Busan, Korea, in December 2011, with a view to ensuring Sierra Leone’s continued progress towards graduation out of “Fragile State” status. “We will soon be undertaking the New Deal Monitoring survey and hosting the fourth global meeting of the international dialogue on peace building and state building in June 2014”, he said.
Department for International Development (DFID) Country Representative Dr Phil Evans said the signing of the MAF signals an important re-casting of the relationship between Sierra Leone and the international community as the country makes the critically significant transition from post-conflict recovery and onto what is believed to be an accelerated development track. “Through the MAF, we as donors pledge to put our efforts and resources squarely and transparently behind the goals and aspirations set out in the Agenda for Prosperity, working with the government and people of Sierra Leone in tackling the country’s growth and development priorities,” said the DFID Country Representative.
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Ireland, Sinead Walsh, noted that the MAF fundamentally provides an opportunity to work together differently and to work together better. She also said that the MAF provides the chance for a new starting point as indicators and targets will help both government and development partners to focus on the shared goals. “On behalf of the Government of Ireland and on behalf of all development partners present, I would like to pledge our support and our energies to fulfilling our side of the MAF agreement,” she said.
Peter Versteeg, Head of the European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to align to the A4P and through their actions, support the goals and activities outlined therein. He pointed out that the MAF is the clearest sign of the mutual engagement between donors and Sierra Leone as well as the new programming exercises of the international community that take into account the peace and state-building goals of the New Deal. “It will be important for us all to reflect on what the New Deal means to our relationship and the way we do business together in a reconfigured partnership,” he stressed.
The Executive Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Sierra Leone, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen lauded the efforts Sierra Leone is making in post-conflict development, and assured of the UN’s continued support to the A4P. “Improvements in roads, power production and power distribution are all clear signs of a country that is modernizing quickly and preparing for a stronger and sustainable economy,” the ERSG said. “Whilst indeed infrastructure projects are necessary investments for the future, we will help create a competitive environment for new businesses, which we applaud, the social services too need to stay in-step with national progress. This is not an easy balance to get right; especially a success that brings with it ever higher expectations.”
The World Bank Country Manager, Mr. Ato Brown commended government for the rapid progress made so far, which has made it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He further stated that Sierra Leone’s democratic institutions have taken firm root and provide a solid foundation for ensuring transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, justice and the rule of law.
In their respective statements, development partners made strong commitments to support Sierra Leone in achieving its objectives and aspirations as encapsulated in the A4P.
The meeting also hosted the official co-launch of the Braille version of the Agenda for Prosperity by the deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs assisted by His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.