NCRA, Freetown, Thursday 24th September, 2020 – The newly appointed European Union (EU) Head of Cooperation to Sierra Leone, Gerald Hatler and his team paid a courtesy call on the Director-General (DG) of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir Massaquoi and Senior Management staff at the Walpole Street Office in Freetown.
The meeting, held at the Authority’s Board room, is part of the NCRA’s continuous engagement with Development Partners especially the EU, a critical partner in strengthening Civil Registration, Vital Statistics and Identity management in Sierra Leone.
The DG, on behalf of management and the Government of Sierra Leone, expressed gratitude to the new EU Head of Cooperation and his team for their support to the NCRA particularly in the areas of Identity Management and births and deaths registration.
Mr. Massaquoi informed his management team that the meeting was conveyed at the request of the new EU Head of Cooperation so as to provide a platform for familiarization and to continue with partnership engagements for the furtherance of the NCRA mandate and vision.
In his remarks, the new EU Head of Cooperation, Gerald Hatler thanked the DG and his team for a warm welcome. Mr. Gerald Hatler noted that he was very much pleased to meet with the DG of NCRA for the very first time since his appointment as new EU Head of Cooperation to Sierra Leone.
He commended the DG for providing the leadership in steering the activities and programs of the Authority. He informed the DG that he is here in Freetown, Sierra Leone for the implementation of different projects of which NCRA sits at the top. He assured the DG that the NCRA project is very important especially in the spheres of politics and governance. He said he is therefore fully interested and keeping a close eye on it.
Mr. Gerald Hatler disclosed to the DG and team that he was very much happy and willing to learn the operations, functions and work of the Authority. He implored the DG to always count on his support and reach out to him at all times. “I am very happy to be here, am very happy to learn how you work and function,” the new EU Head of Cooperation said.
Responding to the new EU Head of Cooperation, the DG said that he is particularly happy for the new EU Head of Cooperation’s visit, noting that it speaks volume of the fact that there is an improved relationship. “I am particularly happy that you have had time to come and see us here. “It indicates to us that there is a reason to feel that maybe we will have an improved relationship wherein we will be able to implement the activities with a desired objective,” the DG said.
The DG informed Mr. Gerald Hatler that he recognizes the pivotal role the EU has played and continues to play especially in the area of infrastructure and the development of Civil Registration, Vital Statistic and Identity Management in the country. He noted that since he assumed office in 2018, his engagements with the European Union has been very much fruitful as the EU leadership headed by Ambassador Tom Venns has shown exemplary commitment in supporting the activities of the NCRA.
Mr. Massaquoi maintained that the NCRA project is important to government in particular and its development partners especially the EU, as the Authority’s data could be used for planning and development purposes. He referenced literatures of the Authority that are of essence to Mr. Gerald Hatler in learning about the NCRA and he informed him about the UNECA guided Country Assessment on CRVS and Identity Management landscape. Mr. Massaquoi maintained that those findings from the UNECA country assessment had informed the development of the costed five-year CRVS and Identity Management Strategic Plan-2019-2024, which was launched last year by the Honorable Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh.
He further explained to Mr. Gerald Hatler and team the importance of the confirmation of personal details of citizens and non-citizens resident in Sierra Leone. He noted that the Authority can only share data to other institutions after the confirmation would have been conducted.
The DG told Mr. Gerald Hatler that the NCRA was on a sound footing when the Covid-19 broke out and weighed down on the activities of the Authority. The DG further informed Mr. Gerald Hatler that he was looking forward to an improved collaboration with the EU as always expected.
Mr. Gerald Hatler thanked the DG for his time and assured the DG and his team of his countless commitment to the NCRA and the people of Sierra Leone. He anticipated for a good working relationship and collaboration with less misunderstanding of each other including the projects and programs that the EU and NCRA are working on.
©️ IEC Directorate, NCRA