Ahead of National Sustainable Development Conference

Director of Planning and Development at UNIMAK, Emmanuel A.B. Turay writes:


The Office of the UN Coordinator in collaboration with UNIMAK Planning and Development Office has ended a day meeting with staff and students of the University of Makeni on the new global development goals known as the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs).

In his welcome statement, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK, Rev. Prof. Joseph A. Turay, said UNIMAK had the vision on the type of world we want to live in, where sustainable development is a linchpin. Currently the Vice Chancellor stated that every government, every institution, every sector is mainstreaming sustainable development into its policies, strategies and its activities underscoring that our world is at its ecological limit point and if we are to save it, sustainable development must be taught in our schools and tertiary institutions. He called on the students to consider these new global development goals as a major task that all should work toward to achieve the expected outcomes.

UN Resident Representative. Dr Gabriel Rugalema, addressing students on SDGs

UN Resident Representative. Dr Gabriel Rugalema, addressing students on SDGs

The Resident Coordinator of the UN operations in Sierra Leone, Dr Gabriel Rugalema in his presentation on ‘View from New York on the SDGs – Global significance and relevance to Sierra Leone’; gave an overview about the transition from the MDGs to SDGs noting key areas that he laid emphasis on especially goal numbers 1,4, 6 and 17 that address no hunger, quality education, clean water and sanitation, and partnership for the goals.


Dr Rugalema said that the University of Makeni, among other institutions, should embark on the three main functions of their establishment that is teaching, research and extension services so that together we can achieve the SDGs.

Other presenters included, Dr Michael Gboun, a representative of UNAIDS on the topic SDGs and Health, Dr Mary Okumu a representative of UNWOMEN on the topic, SDGs and Gender and the WFP Regional Officer North, Linus Saur who talked about the SDGs and Food Security.

The meeting, facilitated by UNIMAK‘s Planning and Development Office, concluded with a question and answer session. This meeting is in preparation for a bigger one that is expected to take place on the 26th & 27th February this year at UNIMAK.

Towards a Strategic Urban Plan for Makeni City

Visitors from San Pablo University Spain with UNIMAK Staff

Our Correspondent Emmanuel A.B. Turay writes:

A team of twenty from the San Pablo University (CEU) Madrid, Spain lead by Luis Perea including six lecturers/professors and fourteen students have arrived in Makeni city at the weekend to continue the strategic planning process for the city of Makeni.

In collaboration with UNIMAK and Makeni City Council, the San Pablo University visiting team are in Makeni to create a solid framework to formalise a planning strategy for the city of Makeni. During their last visit to Makeni in 2013 before the Ebola outbreak CEU identified key areas within the municipality and its immediate environs for proper planning as well as operational references in land use and planning in Makeni taking into consideration some of the previous steps taken during the early planning stage.

The delegation from Spain paid an official visit to the Mayor of Makeni City, Her Worship Sunkarie Kamara at her parlour at city council where she reiterated the need for proper planning of the city noting that the city is facing several challenges as a result of the growth and population. This the Mayor lamented has posed several threats to the environment including poor drainage systems, access roads, population’s dependence on fuel wood for energy, etc. some of which has resulted to the present climatic condition they are presently experiencing.


The delegation from Spain with the Mayor of Makeni City, Her Worship Sunkarie Kamara

The Mayor welcomed the team from San Pablo to the city of Makeni and pledged council’s cooperation and support to the strategic urban planning process of the municipality which, based on the just concluded housing and population census, is expected to cover a seven kilometre radius. “We are looking forward to having a sustainable urban plan with your expertise and support”, she said.

The technical team from Spain had a day session with various stakeholders concerned with the sustainable planning process of the city including, Housing and country planning, regional surveyor, SLRA, Ministry of Works, Local government and the Provincial Secretary’s office. Part of their engagement was to identify the planning area, check and analyse documents provided by San Pablo University and to evaluate proposals and other territorial models received by CEU University. The Spanish team is expected to hold two more consultative meetings with various stakeholders engaged in the planning process.