By Matthew Kanu:
The Government of Sierra Leone Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Director of Central Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr. Sheka Bangura has delivered an inaugural lecture on the topic “ Why strongly uphold the sustainable development goals in Sierra Leone”.
The lecture was held at the University of Makeni Abatti Hall on Saturday 1st October 2016 and delivered to the Masters in Sustainable Development class of UNIMAK.
In welcoming Dr. Sheka Bangura to the University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Reverend Fr. Professor Joe Turay said he is grateful to Dr. Bangura for honouring the invitation on short notice . Professor Turay said the university introduced the masters in sustainable development to address issues of climate change, the environment and development .
Delivering his lecture Dr.Sheka Bangura said the Sustainable Development Goals are an extension of the Millennium Development Goals introduced in the year 2000. He said the SDGs is a development frame work designed by member countries to address developmental issues particularly in the third world for the next 15 years.
” In this framework the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has conducted nationwide sensitization to create awareness on the new goals across the country. This sensitization target the public sector, CSOs, the private sector, trade unions and universities /colleges across the country “he noted.
Dr . Bangura reiterated that the ministry is addressing critical concerns on the SDGs to prevent under reporting and over reporting of sustainable development issues. Critical concerns among others he emphasized were increase in poverty, national disasters, diversify economy, exchange rate, bad governance, human trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, climate change and illicit financial flow.” To address these challenges the Sierra Leone Government has introduced a campaign titled Leaving No One Behind he said .
Sierra Leone was among 22 countries whose progress on the SDGs was reviewed by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016. The review took into consideration effort made by the 22 countries in also addressing issues ranging from exclusion from decision making and socio economic participation, food insecurity, disability marginalization, stigmatization and rural development.
Like most of the masters students that attended the inaugural lecturer Karifala Marrah said he was grateful to Dr. Bangura for his effort in imparting such a valuable knowledge to them.
Marrah further explained that part of what he learned during the lecture is base on the fact that sustainable development is key in all sectors of development that will transform lives and change behaviour.
He emphasized that such a lecture is key in their preparation before graduation in 2017.