Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bockarie Kortu Stevens was in New Jersey yesterday to hold series of meetings with Sierra Leonean officials of the state to plan the visit of His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The Ambassador held two meetings during the afternoon and late in the night with the New Jersey officials who included Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu ; the President of the All People’s Congress New Jersey Branch, Mr. Allie Badara Kamara ; his Vice-President, Madam Madina Rahman; one of the two members of the Presidential delegation sent on an advanced mission to the U.S. to help plan the visit, Mr. Foday Mansaray ; the President of the Sierra Leone Community in New Jersey , Mr. Lamin Alharazim; his deputy Mr. Hardy Gabisi, the President of NOSLINA , Mr. Minkailu Jalloh one of the Advisers of the APC-NJ Mr. Pavi Jalloh and Mr. Bayoh of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ).
President Koroma will be arriving in the U.S. on Monday September 16, 2013 to attend the United Nations General Assembly .
Ambassador Stevens threw light on the two town meetings President Koroma will be holding in Silver Spring , Maryland on Wednesday September 18 and in New Jersey on Sunday September 22. According to the Ambassador, both will be joint meetings conducted by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC ) and the Sierra Leone Embassy to the United States principally to make constraints analysis on the MCC Compact Award won by Sierra Leone last year. Both meetings are non-political and are open to all Sierra Leoneans of different political parties, religious creeds or other persuasion.
According to the programs of the two meetings , Ambassador Stevens , Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Konteh and a representative of the MCC will make brief statements to be followed by the keynote address by His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma. After the Presidential address, the floor will be open to Sierra Leoneans to make the constraints analysis , i.e. state the problems that investors face in establishing business in Sierra Leone, the areas that they think the millions of dollars Sierra Leone will benefit from for winning the MCC Compact Award must be invested and other suggestions.
For those familiar with the operations of the MCC, the Corporation requires that a compact winner must conduct a constraints analysis of the principal constraints to economic growth and poverty reduction . She must consult with the people to identify areas of priority for development.
According to the MCC guidelines for conducting a constraints analysis, “The purpose of the Constraints Analysis (CA) is to identify the root causes that deter households and firms from making investments of their financial resources, time, and effort that would significantly increase their incomes. The CA is not intended to dictate specific projects to be funded by the MCC, but rather to provide a framework that will help focus the consultative process on appropriate programs that will ease those constraints and stimulate economic growth. A successful CA will constitute a solid foundation for the expeditious development of a Compact that addresses country priorities and is consistent with the MCC’s institutional mandate “.
The President’s visit to New Jersey is also in fulfillment of a promise he made during his short trip to Washington DC in February during which he promised to visit with bereaved families of the many people that died in New Jersey since last year, a demonstration of the President’s caring attitude for his people everywhere.
Ambassador Stevens will want it to be known that attendees of the MCC Meetings in Washinton DC before the Presidential town meetings have to register to attend. In other words, there is no registration requirements for the Washington and New Jersey town meetings that the President will attend , but as for the other MCC meetings to be held in Washington DC before the arrival of the President, attendees have to register. The Ambassador is calling on those who have not registered to send their particulars–names, addresses etc -to the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC whose officials will help to have them registered.
There is also a registration requirement for the Constituency For Africa program on September 17 to be held at the World Bank in Washington DC.