In view of other MDAs’ contributions to national development, the Produce Monitoring Board (PMB) strongly believes that the support of other institutions will be of great help in this crucial time for the produce sector of Sierra Leone. PMB’s institutional initiative is to transform the produce sector through collective and collaborative efforts of MDAs and NGOs.
It is against this backdrop that the One Day Fact Finding Symposium for the Development of the Produce Value Chain Procedures was convened upon the invitation of the PMB, on the 13th April 2016. MDAs met to discuss issues affecting the produce sector and to find solutions that will promote cooperation, coordination and collaboration among them.
The One Day Fact Finding Symposium brought experts from the various MDAs (total of 17 institutions) to discuss and devise strategies s to improve communication and cooperation among line MDAs and the PMB. The specific goals of the symposium were to identify and discuss areas of overlapping of functions and mutual interests, and to capture salient recommendations and find ways to synergize them with the intended policies of the board.
Institutions had an opportunity to give a talk on their mandate, functions and responsibilities in relation to the development of the produce sector, and their concerns about how the operations of other institutions affect their work and the general progress of the sector. The discussed topics included border trade, cooperation, collaboration, coordination, synergy, smuggling, money laundering and terrorism financing. Some institutions recommended changes that require legislation to satisfy both institutional and operational needs.
The symposium climaxed with the signing of a joint communiqué which stressed the need for the setting up of a separate Working Group (WG) on cooperation, and the idea was endorsed by all institutions present in the symposium.
The document thereby requests all parties to:
- Cooperate with PMB in the discharge of its mandate.
- Identify the areas of overlapping functions and ensure effective collaboration.
- Appoint a contact Person, a Desk or Department to whom matters could be reported for appropriate action.