© Communication Unit MPPA – 16th November, 2021
The Ministry of Political and Public Affairs has engaged the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, (SLAJ) in its pre-launch dialogue meeting for the implementation of both the Government Citizens Portal and Website of the Ministry at the Harry Yansaneh Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown.
In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Mr. Amara Kallon, stressed that the Government Citizens Portal is an online platform which allows citizens to directly transmit their suggestions, requests, share their concerns and ideas with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) through an integrated citizen’s grievance redress system connecting all government apparatus. He emphasized that the citizen’s portal allows the government to become more citizen-centric with the aim of building a modern and better Sierra Leone.
Mr. Kallon noted that the Citizen’s Portal will build the capability of government through consultation and dialogue between the state and citizens in-order to improve public understanding and support for government policies by encouraging citizen ownership of reforms, access to information and government transparency which is vital for enabling citizens to monitor and hold government accountable for its actions and this will encourage government responsiveness to citizens’ demands hence resulting in better public service.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Political and Public Affairs, Mohamed A Jalloh, reiterated that the Ministry is charged with the responsibility of popularizing government policies and programs through citizen’s engagement. He also noted that the media has a pivotal role in reaching a larger audience of the citizen so the ministry thought it prudent to hold a pre-launch dialogue with journalists to help actualize the portal through which citizens can participate in government policies and programs.
Earlier in his welcome address, the President of SLAJ, Ahmad Sahid Nasrallah thanked the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs for such a laudable initiative as the culture of secrecy is not an enjoyable take for government to withhold information. He assured the ministry that SLAJ is pleased to partner with the Ministry to ensure that they contribute to the full implementation and operationalization of the Citizens Portal and website and encouraged all media houses present to further cascade the pre-launch of the portal to colleagues so that all will keep abreast to the use of the portal.