The theme of the conference was "Understanding the past, marking the challenges and shaping the future."
In attendance were all the paramount chiefs and the Mayor of Koidu-New Sembehun City, key stakeholders, some Kono descendants from the Diaspora, and residents of Kono.
The conference opening remarks and Keynote Speech was done by the Hon. Vice President Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh. He gave an overview of the current state of governance, citing the very demeaning time shape of leadership they inherited, highlighting the spate of entrenched corruption characterizing that era.
He orientated his audience on the flagship projects of the present Government led by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
The VP conveyed H.E. President Bio's felicitations to the Kono people saying the President wants "Kono people should begin to think about Kono beyond Diamonds (Mining)".
He gave them a charge to be focused on other developmental factors like Agriculture (Fish Farming), Education, Sustainable Energy, Revolutionizing the Tourism and Mining industries and how mining communities will benefit from the New Direction policies.
He emphasized that the Government is working towards improving and diversifying the Economy to sustainable growth and creating jobs and encouraged the Kono people to use the conference to establish a development dialogue.
He concluded that they are not taking the conference from the Diaspora, but using this as a way of bringing the Diasporas back home, to add to the human resource in the country which will help in bringing better development ideas.