Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Appeals for Capacity Building

Mrs. Nimatulai Bah-Chang-Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has made passionate appeal for capacity building of public officers working for the Government of Sierra Leone. She made the appeal to Mr. Neil Victor Jarvis Section Head for Africa Division, Department of Technical Cooperation at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during a visit to the Minister at her office, Tower Hill in Freetown on Tuesday 13th November, 2018. She told the IAEA Expert that training the staff of various Ministries, Departments and agencies is of essence, adding that the training will help to sustain the radiotherapy facility the Energy Agency is working with the Government of Sierra Leone to build.

The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister thanked Mr. Jarvis for the radiotherapy project and other support given to the Government of Sierra Leone. The Deputy Minister informed Mr. Jarvis about the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority Act of 2012 as representing Sierra Leone’s commitment to the work of IAEA. She appreciated the effort of the Section Head for Africa Division for the visit and invited the Head to use his expertise to speedily implement the radiotherapy project, furthering that the speedy implementation of the project will prevent people from flying out of the country for cancer treatment. She appealed for continued support from the Cooperation Fund to boost the health facility so as to prevent people from flying overseas for treatment.

Mr. Jarvis explained to the Minister that IAEA is a specialised agency of the United Nations which relies on national agency for project implementation, stressing that IAEA played a nuclear watchdog role. The radiotherapy project for Sierra Leone is a Technical Cooperation initiatives with support from the Technical Cooperation Fund, he explained. IAEA is also supporting Sierra Leone on the human health project, livestock disease protection, improve crop variety and nuclear techniques, Mr. Jarvis added. He explained that the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, Fourah Bay College and Njala University were named as some of the institutions that have benefitted from the Technical Cooperation from IAEA. “I am here to identify highest priority areas of Government and see the role nuclear technology can play” he emphasized.

The Executive Secretary of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority (NSRPA) John Jabati said one of the support available to member States is expert missions. He stated that NSRPA is a Government Agency responsible for implementation of Government programmes related to nuclear technology, stressing that it was the Agency that requested IAEA mission to help push the Government agenda forward.