The Chairperson for the occasion,

Madam Chairperson, NEC,

The Manager of the Electoral Basket Fund

Board Members of INEACE-SL

Other Members of the High Table,

Religious Leaders present,

Awardees and Other Students of INEACE-SL,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me seize this opportunity to thank the Chairperson, Commissioners and Staff of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for organizing this scholarship award programme and for the invitation to make a statement. As the Chairman of the NCD, a sister institution of the National Electoral Commission, that works towards promoting democratic good governance, and being a member of the board of INEACE-SL, I know too well the multi-dimensional significance of what is taking place here today as capacity building for our institutions should be considered as very paramount especially in the face of inadequate manpower to do the work in our governance institutions.

The philanthropy of the National Electoral Commission through the Electoral Basket Fund is worth emulating as many more participants in the Institute of Electoral Administration and Civic Education, Sierra Leone (INEACE-SL) should be provided with the same opportunity that our first batch of twenty one (21) awardees are getting today. It should be obvious to all with a stake in academia that paying for education can be quite expensive and as such a gesture of this nature from NEC could not have come at a better time.

On behalf of NEC, let me register my gratitude to donors especially the UNDP for their support in putting this fund together from which today's beneficiaries and subsequent beneficiaries will continue to benefit in order to get the requisite learning to meet the glaring capacity needs of leading governance institutions including NEC and NCD.

It is obvious that today's beneficiaries from the Electoral Basket Fund are extremely happy for the scholarship award as the burden of paying fees has been lifted from off your shoulders. However, there is another burden that has been placed on you for you are expected to make proper use of the opportunity to justify the view that you deserve the opportunity that has been granted to you. You are encouraged to spend your time on your studies for in the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “the heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night”. Do the best that you can to ensure that others will be considered for similar awards.

To all present, let us do our best to promote democratic governance by supporting the work of all governance institutions in the country. With a politically literate nation, the work of all governance institutions will be very easy especially NEC and NCD. This is the more reason why INEACE-SL and similar institutions should be supported by all in the nation. The need for civic education in the entire nation cannot be overemphasized as an enlightened society can be very productive. Raising awareness on good governance and the Constitution is the purview of the NCD and the curriculum of the INEACE-SL is in line with that statutory mandate for which all should work assiduously to ensure that the related objectives are met. The work of promoting democratic good governance should be the responsibility of every Sierra Leonean and we at the NCD will take the lead and we don’t intend to look back for our shoulders are now on the plough even as we continue in the upward climb in ascending the citadel and bastion of true and genuine democracy. With the right focus, these ideals are attainable and the dividend of good governance will be enjoyed by all.

Let me end this statement by assuring the Chairperson of NEC that as a collaborative democratic institution, we at the National Commission for Democracy will do our best to ensure that we work alongside with you as you carry out your constitutional mandate. Our collaborative work will continue and it will continue to grow by the minutes as we show the people the way forward in democratic good governance.

Thanks and God bless you!


Chairman's photo
The Chairman
Dr. Abubakar Kargbo

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