The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance has on Thursday 24th June 2021 organised a virtual farewell programme in honor of the outgoing World Bank Country Manager Dr. Gayle Martin, whose tenure as country manager comes to an end this June 2021.
Dr. Gayle Martin was appointed as country manager in 2018 as a replacement to Pamenda Bra and since then she has collaborated with the Bio-led New Direction government in many ways to increase budget supports, improve project portfolio, and the overall increase in resource mobilization.
In a short but significant virtual ceremony, speaker after speaker from the Chief Minister, Minister of Finance to Health, Education, Energy, and NaCSA expressed gratitude to Dr. Martin for the dedication, commitment, passion, and professionalism she demonstrated in their many encounters in meetings, negotiations, and project development.
Former Minister of Finance, now Chief Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa in a video documentary in honor of Dr. Martin, said it was during her tenure, Sierra Leone was able to attract the highest amount of concessional resources including the unprecedented $100m budget support in 2020.
Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi, in his statement, stated that the outgoing country manager was very instrumental in the disbursement of $40 Million each in 2018 and 2019 as budget support. He continued that in 2020, with Dr. Gayle Martin’s support during the COVID outbreak, the World Bank disbursed a total amount of $100 million as budget support under the Productivity and Transparency Support Credit a record amount since the World Bank’s intervention in Sierra Leone.
In the area of projects, the minister stated that since 2018 to date Sierra Leone project portfolio has been doing well with over $470 million projects across different sectors and that all projects are doing well.
In his statement, the World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone who is based in Ghana, Pierre Frank Laporte described Gayle as one of the best country managers he has worked with, stating Gayle’s tenure was successful because she put her heart into the work and issues about Sierra Leone. He thanked the government of President Bio for providing the space for constructive dialogue and reform and commit to more cooperation with the incoming country manager.
In her response, Dr. Gayle Martin thank the Government of Sierra Leone for their commitment to reforming and rebranding Sierra Leone and also for creating the platform and atmosphere to accomplish all that she was able to accomplish in the past three years. She also attributed the gains made in her tenure to the fact that she fell in love with Sierra Leone the day she comes into the country.
“I succeeded because I fell in love with this country” she added.
As she moves to the headquarters in Washington D.C, the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Sengeh implore her to serve as an ambassador of Sierra Leone at the Bank, whiles Financial Secretary Sahr L. Jusu wished her all the best in her new capacity and Deputy Minister of Finance 1 Dr. Patricia Laverley thank her for their discussions on issues of women in finance and empowerment.
Dr. Gayle Martin will be replaced by Dr. Abdu Muwonge who has also committed to sustain the good work of Gayle Martin and promise to work closely with his colleagues here to maintain the achievements that the country is making.