The new World Bank Country Manager to Sierra Leone Abdu Muwong has on Tuesday 27 July 2021 paid an official courtesy visit to the Minister of finance Dennis Vandi at his George Street office in Freetown.
This is the first official meeting between two gentlemen since Mr. Muwong replaced Dr. Gayle Martin as country manager in May 2021.
In his opening statement, Abdu Muwong stated that this meeting was to establish a relationship with the Minister of Finance and team and to develop a platform to work collaboratively with Government to strengthen the partnership in delivering the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) and supporting the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
The country manager furthered that the FY2021/22 pipeline for delivery will provide significant resources to Government.
Therefore e urged the Government to focus on key projects and accelerate preparation so that they will be delivered on time.
These include Development Policy Operation (DPO), $USD 75 million, Land Administration Project, $40 million, Social Safety Net and Youth Employment Project, $40 million, and Quality Essential Health Services and Systems Support Project, $40 million.
When reporting on current projects, he said they are ongoing with little or no controversies, and also promised to engage the Minister of Finance on more detailed and sector-specific projects that the bank is financing to accelerate disbursement, implement reforms, and building institutional capacity and systems.
Abdu Muwong also disclosed his plans to unlock future resources by the country’s performance in the delivery of the Country Policy Institutional Assessment (CPIA), Performance and Policy Actions (PPAs), and also the quality of the portfolio.
He highlighted areas of possible intervention in Energy, Agriculture, Education and Skills, and Urban Development.
In his response, the Minister of Finance Dennis Vandi welcomed the new country manager to Sierra Leone and expressed his willingness to work with the country manager and his team to build on the already conducive working relationship established by his predecessor.
He called on the new country manager to be more consultative and at the same time draw to his attention difficulties or bottle necks from any sector in government concerning project delivery of policy reforms that are part of the prior actions agreed with the bank.
Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu informed the meeting of the progress government is making in the CPIA, stating that they are engaging acidulously to implement audit recommendations and at the same time trying to review the Public Financial Management ACT 2016 to strengthen audit and internal control systems.