Left-right: Mrs. Tibaijuka watches with keen interest as Mr. Bangali signs the visitor’s book.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, has stated that Sierra Leone is priority country in the work of UN-HABITAT and expressed a desire to see a greater presence of the agency in that country.
She made the statement while receiving the credentials from the new permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to UN-HABITAT, Mr. Andrew Bangali. The Executive Director briefed the envoy on the activities of the organization globally and in Sierra Leone and called for more active participation of the country in the affairs of UN-HABITAT. She stated that a new Habitat Programme Manager (HPM) would soon be appointed for Sierra Leone to coordinate the activities of the organization in the country.
The Executive Director informed the envoy that UN-HABITAT had been approached to provide expertise for Sierra Leone regional capital city of Bo in terms of mapping/GIS for the city, and to help in a number of areas including rate collection, infrastructure provision and city planning. She gave the assurance that the organization would look favourably at the proposal.
Mrs. Tibaijuka also discussed with the envoy UN-HABITAT’s involvement with the Global Forum in the “We are the Future Freetown Urban One Stop Child and Youth Centre.”
The Centre is a youth-led child programme targeting orphans and vulnerable children aged from 0-6 years, and youths aged 15-25 within the municipality of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. It develops and implements youth-led programmes in the areas of environmental management, arts and culture, ICT, health and sanitation, agriculture and nutrition, sports and recreation, and entrepreneurship.
Responding, Mr. Bangali gave the assurance that his country would be more involved in the activities of UN-HABITAT than it had been in the past. According to him: “We want to be very involved in UN-HABITAT’s activities.”
Mr. Bangali, who also is his country’s ambassador to 14 countries, that include Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Israel, and who is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, thanked the Executive Director for the warm reception accorded him. He invited the Executive Director to visit Sierra Leone soon.