State House, Freetown, Thursday 4 February 2021 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has awarded the three top-performing Ministries, at the inaugural Presidential Award ceremony on 4 February 2021.
Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre are the best performing public institutions.
The President, however, emphasised that the exercise was meant to incentivise and encourage each MDA to go over and beyond the call of duty to provide exemplary leadership and produce the best outcomes.
“This is an annual event and I want to be able to give awards to every Ministry here next year. Your challenge is to make it impossible for me to recognise just a few outstanding performances.
“Let me also congratulate each of us and collectively as a Government for taking the bold step to self-assess. We believe it helps us identify what else we must do to accelerate our pace of development and service delivery as a nation,” the President said.
President Bio noted that the awards were not personal scorecards on ministries or on individual competence, adding that every minister and ministry, by and large, had met the benchmark for performance and delivery.
“These are value-free assessments that recognise three things: That delivery is time-bound and we must each provide the leadership to deliver that accelerated change we have promised; that there is no common parameter for judging all MDAs but there are benchmarks we have promised, and we can meet and achieve; and that the slow starters can be the fastest finishers and the fast starters (those who receive the awards today) be not be the best finishers after all,” he said.
The assessment was done by Chief Minister Professor David John Francis, whose office serves as the delivery unit of the New Direction Government of President Dr Julius Maada Bio. Essentially, the OCM supports the implementation of government businesses across MDAs and ensures that they deliver results.
“2020 was a very difficult and challenging year, with the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the negative economic and financial impact on every country in the world. But the challenges of 2020 brought out the best in us as a government,” he observed.
The Chief Minister further disclosed that the New Direction Government showed that they had made impressive progress with 29 out of the 38 manifesto commitments delivered or at an advanced stage of delivery.
He added that the most recent was the restart of the constitutional review process and the acceptance by President Bio of the Justice Cowan CRC recommendation to abolish the death penalty.
“So, today the Death Penalty is abolished in Sierra Leone. Your Excellency, we ended the difficult year of 2020 with Sierra Leone receiving international recognition and global accolade for the quality of your leadership and the performance of your government.
“The American Government’s CDC praised Sierra Leone as 1 of 4 countries in Africa that have managed well the coronavirus pandemic response; the American Government’s MCC confirmed that Sierra Leone is now eligible for the MCC Compact worth nearly a half a billion dollars,” he said.
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