Diaspora Experts Meeting

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By ODA Communications Unit


The Sierra Leone Central Union (SLCU) in the Netherlands and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Friday 23rd September 2016 held a Kick-off Meeting in Holland for Sierra Leonean Diaspora Professionals that have interests to participate in the new Connecting Diaspora 4 Development (CD4D) Programme.


This meeting was the first ever meeting of Sierra Leonean professionals in Mainland Europe.

The meeting which took place at the World Trade Centre in The Hague attracted Sierra Leonean Professionals with qualifications in different filed of studies, also other stakeholders including officials of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Brussels and Representatives from the International Organisation for Migration in The Netherlands.


The Purpose of the meeting is to enhance the provision of detailed sector information on capacity gaps in the Health, Agriculture and Education sectors in Sierra Leone; provide information on opportunities for diaspora experts to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone through the CD4D project. Also the meeting was conveyed to facilitate networking and partnerships between Sierra Leone professionals in the diaspora and other stakeholders in the Netherlands.


According to the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Central Union, Abubakarr Bangura the CD4D programme for Sierra Leone is initially aimed at engaging 50 Sierra Leonean Diaspora professionals residing in the Netherlands and other EU countries for the development and capacity building in the Health, Agriculture and Education sector of the country. “We had a successful meeting and thirty three Sierra Leonean professionals attended the meeting’’, Mr Bangura explained. He furthered that the overall result was good and the interactions where healthy. He disclosed that the first group of Sierra Leonean Professionals is expected to arrive in Sierra Leone in November, 2016; after a proper analysis of the capacity gaps of the host institutions in Sierra Leone and a thorough selection of participants in the Netherlands.


Meanwhile, CD4D is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it’s a continuation of IOM’s successful TRQN (Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals) project. The new project will connect diaspora experts who are residing in Holland to key institutions that have been identified by the six target countries including Sierra Leone. IOM will work with these institutions to build capacity through diaspora engagement. The Office of Diaspora Affairs (ODA) which is also a key player with regards the CD4D arrangements would ensure that the programme is well coordinated in Sierra Leone.