AFFORD & PARTNERS CONCLUDE A 3 DAY WORKSHOP ON DIASPORA CONTRIBUTION TO DEVELOPMENT AND JOB CREATION

Our Private Sector Manager and Communication Officer  were proud to join the African Foundation For Development (AFFORD) and partners in  a three Day training workshop on enabling and enhancing Diaspora contribution to Development and job Creation for Sierra Leone.

The workshop which was funded by the European Union started on Monday the 12th of June 2018 and ended on the 14th of June at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown. Participants drawn from different institutions including the  Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency ( SLIEPA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Organization for Migration ( IOM), Civil Society Groups, members of the Diaspora Community, Bank of Sierra Leone ( BSL), Commercial Banks, and different Money Transfer Organizations ( MTOs)

The event aimed at strengthening policies that support diaspora and migrants’ contribution to development , in particularly around job Creation and enterprise, and in leveraging remittances towards national development.

In his remarks, the chairman of AFFORD, who is also one of the brains behind the formation of Sierra Leone Diaspora Network (SLDN), Mr Ade Daramy pointed out some of the contributions of Sierra Leone diasporans to the development of their country. ”

He said there are a lot of Sierra Leoneans from abroad who returned home to contribute positively to the country’s development and transformation.

Mr Daramy also explained the work of AFFORD and the SLDN with regards the diaspora over the years. ” we have been working assiduously to revive the Sierra Leone Diaspora Network, In fact, we have done a website already” to promote investment opportunities present in SL.

Mr Joseph Lansana, Private Sector Manager of the Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) reiterated Government’s commitment in supporting diaspora engagement for development and job creation. ” Inline with the new Direction Agenda, ODA now has an extended mandate to effectively engage the diaspora towards national development” he said.

He said the need for diaspora engagement is anchored on the imperative to reinforce the contribution of Sierra Leone diaspora to development. He added that in the current era of intensifying global human capital flows, diaspora contribution to the development of their home countries is crucial.

Meanwhile, the workshop provided trainees knowledge and skills on how to engage with and influence policymakers and decision makers, within the diaspora context of limited resources and networks, and the absence of significant representation in the corridors of power.

Unisa Dizo-Conteh, who has managed an AFFORD social enterprise project supporting small and medium sized businesses, was the host for the three day workshop.

Participants were also given the opportunity to discuss the new actions MTOs should take to reduce transaction cost of remittances, and how Diasporans should change their behavior in order to enhance development impact, in addition to the regulatory and operational priorities that Government should implement to enhance the reduction of transaction cost of migrant remittances.