REFLECTIONS ON 25 YEARS
BRU Volume 3 (2022) Issue 1: 'Africa: Reflections on 25 years'
Foday Moriba Jaward
The Minister of the Environment presented a statement to INBAR to mark its 25th anniversary year.
In Sierra Leone, bamboo and rattan can be found in every corner of the country. The Forestry Division of the Ministry of the Environment is the designated national focal institution for the regulations of the affairs of INBAR since October 2002 when the country became a Member State of the organisation [that] has been working tirelessly to develop the sector. As a country with over 50% of its population living in rural areas, [in Sierra Leone] bamboo and rattan are considered as one of the main sources of income generation for their livelihood.
Recently, [Sierra Leone] hosted a two-member delegation from INBAR’s West Africa Regional Office in Ghana to assess the state of the sector. The visit afforded the country [the opportunity] to study the state of bamboo and rattan resources, utilisation and development, explore the possibility of South-South cooperation with China and find out the present needs and future development approach for the sector. The team had several engagements with the private sector during which the possibilities, challenges and other issues of bamboo and rattan investment were discussed.
We are keen to promote bamboo and rattan as a sustainable alternative source of income for our forest edge communities, and hence job creation, in Sierra Leone. To achieve this, the Forestry Division is in the process of drafting a roadmap [and] clear path for developing the sector, particularly to make industrial products with high added value, and to integrate bamboo and rattan into other sectors, such as tourism, energy, etc.
The country will continue to engage INBAR and other donor partners to promote bamboo and rattan’s sustainable cultivation and use across Sierra Leone.
On behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, I wish INBAR and all its Member States a very happy 25th anniversary.
A shortened version of this statement was published in the March 2022 issue of Bamboo and Rattan Update.