As AFDB Executive Directors conclude Five-Day Mission in Sierra Leone, Minister of Finance Calls for more Budget Support

Seven executive directors of the African Development Bank concluded a five-day working visit in Sierra Leone, where they engaged the government in their programmes, civil society, the private sector, and other players to get first-hand information and experience about the issues in Sierra Leone.

Mette Knudsen from Demark leads the delegation; also in the delegation was Rufus N. Darkortey from Liberia, who is representing Sierra Leone on the Board, Jonathan Nzayikorera from Rwanda, Takaaki Nomoto from Japan, Dr Martin Kipping from Germany, Dr Nomfundo Ngwenya from South Africa and Dr Samson Oyebode Oyetunde from Nigeria.

In a wrap-up meeting on Friday, 22nd March 2024, at the Ministry of Finance, the spokesperson for the mission, Mette Knudsen, presented highlights of their observations and made a few recommendations on the issues they gathered from the several engagements. She thanked the Minister of Finance and team for their reception and hospitality during their stay.

She continued that they are impressed with the government’s efforts to address the issues of the economy through agriculture, the Big Five game agenda, and government commitment to the regional framework.

Mette Knudsen also highlighted debt, import dependency, private sector growth, high inflation, and Leones’ depreciation as some of the challenges they recognised.

She concludes by recommending that the government pay more attention to stabilising the macroeconomic fundamentals through constructive engagement with the International Monetary Fund and the Bank and the issues around domestic and foreign debt.

She applauds the government’s strides in coordinating the intervention of various partners in agriculture and the energy infrastructure.

In his response, the Minister of Finance, Sheku Fantamadi Bangura, appreciates the mission on behalf of the government and the people of Sierra Leone for their visit by reiterating the government’s commitment toward the Bank and its policies towards the development of Africa.

In the area of the economy, Minister Bangura briefed the mission on some of the reforms the government is undertaking in both revenue generation and expenditure by leveraging technology to reduce leakages and, at the same time, improve revenue mobilisation.

He called for more direct budget support, which he believes gives the government more leverage to invest more in the social sectors and priority programmes.

On the evening of the 22nd March 2023, the Ministry of Finance, in honour of the executive directors, organised a cocktail where several speakers from the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr Ibrahim Stevens, thanked the Bank for previous support and projects and calls for more support to the man financial inclusion drive.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Kenyeh Ballay, the most recent past Executive Director representing Sierra Leone on the Board, spoke about the role of the Eds in the board room and how the visit will impact decision-making on issues relating to Sierra Leone.

Rufus N. Darkortey ED, representing Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Gambia and Sudan, expressed appreciation to the government for the frank and fruitful discussions and to his fellow Eds for joining him in coming to Sierra Leone.

He commits to fostering the relationship between the Bank and Sierra Leone, resulting in the people’s prosperity.

©MOF Communications