A team from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), who is on an evaluation and supervision mission on IsDB projects in Sierra Leone, on Monday, 7th August 2023, made a courtesy visit to the Minister and leadership of the Ministry of Finance.
Briefing the Minister on the mission, the Country Operations Manager of the Islamic Development Bank, Omar Davis, congratulated all appointed and assured them of the Bank’s support towards the development effort of Sierra Leone, especially in the agriculture sector.
He acknowledged that they had received the government request for the Cassava Value Chain projects and are willing to discuss further with the government.
He also stated that the visit is to discuss lengthily on government’s other priorities across different sectors, such as Health and water and sanitation, which comprise 30% of the Bank’s Portfolio in the Country.
Mr Omar Davies further disclosed that the mission, together with the Ministry of Finance, will conduct a project performance Portfolio review on the ongoing 145-million-dollar portfolio, of which 70% is on Agriculture and 30% on Health, and Water and Sanitation, as well as on discussing the pipeline planning for 2024/2025.
The minister of Finance, Sheku Fantamadi Bangura, welcomed the team and thanked the Bank for their continuous support to the Government of Sierra Leone. He added that the portfolio is healthy, noting that agriculture is the government’s flagship programme and holding firm to human Capital Development, which he said is interlinked with education, health and deepening the agricultural sector.
He said he is happy the Bank’s portfolio is significantly deepening in agriculture and assures them that the government would consolidate the projects.
However, he emphasised the re-engineering of the entire architecture in delivering Agriculture.
Minister Bangura revealed that the government is trying to create a blueprint for agriculture that would appreciate the interventions made and the kind of impacts the country desires.
He noted that over the years, there needed to be more effective coordination which he said needs to be addressed appropriately to ensure that the people of Sierra Leone are food self-sufficient.
He said the land is the sole asset of the state and that government has the role of de-risking the sector by investing in irrigation, warehousing, meal structures, roads, electricity and other infrastructure.
The Minister explained that this time, the government is thinking smarter with its partners to connect the dots to sustain investment with business people effectively through some solid-state structures.
This courtesy followed a Project portfolio review to analyse project bottlenecks during implementation concerning technical, procurement, financial, logistical and implementation Action Plans.
The mission will travel to the provinces and inspects IsDB projects before they leave the shores of Sierra Leone.