The Project Officer of the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D) Project attached to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mange Sesay on the 21st November 2017 led a delegation, composed of three Sierra Leone Diaspora Business and Investment Experts from Holland to the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) Headquarters in Freetown.

The Business and Investment Experts include: Abubakarr Bangura, and William Clarkson both were assigned to the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) Ibrahim Kamara was assigned to provide his services including to train local lecturers at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET).

The Diaspora Experts according to Mr Mange Sesay are in country to participate in the Connecting Diaspora for Development (CD4D) Program. “This courtsey call is really necessary because ODA is the first point of call for Diasporans especially participants of the CD4D” Mr Sesay noted.

He informed that host Institutions have affirmed that CD4D participants are doing extremely well in performing their various assignments.

In his statement, Abubakarr Bangura commended ODA for supporting and ensuring that Diasporans are well positioned in the country. He said that he is in the country for a short assignment. ” Am here to do follow up with regards the issue that has to do with setting up of entrepreneurship incubators in tertiary institutions in the country, am currently doing the spade work to finalize arrangements so that lecturers of three Tertiary institutions  will visit Holland on a study to tour that will earn them first-hand information and tools  that needed to  establish and run business incubators in Sierra Leone, also am here to visit participants of the online entrepreneurship programme ;exchange ideas and track the progress made by these participants”. Mr Bangura explained.

Both Mr Ibrahim Kamara and Mr William Clarkson said that this is not their first time to participate in such programs, adding that in 2008 they participated in the Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN). However, they assured that they will deliver their best in the current CD4D programme.

Addressing the Diaspora Business and Investment specialists, the Director of ODA, Dr. Kallay Musa Conteh said that the CD4D is one of the programmes in which Sierra Leoneans in Europe, especially those in Holland give back to their country through skills transfer.

He further expressed delight in working with the International Organization for Migration to roll out the CD4D Programme in the country. “Our working relationship with IOM has been very fruitful in a bid to bring back Sierra Leoneans from the Diaspora to contribute positively to the development of the country” Dr. Conteh said.

© Alfred Fornah

Communication Officer, ODA.