The Ministry of Finance, through the Multilateral Project Division, in collaboration with the World Bank, on Tuesday, 12th December 2023, conducted the Annual Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) of the 16 national and three regional projects funded by the Bank to the tune of $967million.
The event at the Ministry’s main conference hall on George Street in Freetown attracted Project Managers and senior members of various Project Implementation Units (PIU), representatives of beneficiary Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The CPPR has a positive impact on the CPIA Ratings.
Deputy Finance Minister 1, Jeneba Bangura, who officially declared the workshop open, encouraged all project managers/coordinators to implement their projects following the project documents thoroughly, the World Bank policies and above all, the law of Sierra Leone and agreed timelines.
The Financial Secretary, Matthew Dingie, who doubles as the chairman, stated that the CPPR look at the challenges faced, the achievements so far, the status of implementation and solutions for proper implementation of these projects.
He further noted that implementing these projects is critical to the CPIA Rating, a benchmark for accessing additional concessional resources from development partners.
He said the portfolio’s performance would give more resources to the Country, but if the portfolio is not doing well, it would reduce the rating and would not get more resources from the Bank.
He encouraged project Managers to do their best so that the CPIA Rating would be improved.
Abdu Muwonge, World Bank Country Manager, encouraged all Project Managers and government officials to think about the broader perspective of these projects and how they could fit into the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
He further emphasised that the workshop would also consider any positive adjustment to be included in the review that would reflect the Medium-Term National Development Plan as the preparation of the next National Development document that is underway.
He also said the country has been doing very well in the sub-region and that out of 22 countries, Sierra Leone’s disbursement performance was remarkable.
The country manager advised all project managers not to focus on their projects alone but to share their knowledge and experience with colleagues for effective project implementations.
He emphasised the need for salary harmonisation and institutional reforms to put the country’s economy on a sound footing.
The Development Secretary at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Sam Kpakra, said that project financing forms the bulk of donor support.
He also said the responsibility and the administration of projects lie in the hands of the implementing unit set up in various MDAs.
He stated that 20% of the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) goes to project implementation; therefore, the implementation process impacts the CPIA report.
Mr Sam Kpakra noted that factors that would reduce the rate of returns in multi-lateral aid are attributed partly to the country level and partly to the donor institution’s concern.
He also said projects suffer from delays of disbursement due to poor preparation of project documents, inadequate and untimely payment of counterpart government contributions, untimely submission of financial performance, failure to follow procurement procedures, lack of adequate knowledge on some PIU staff, poor project design are all hurdles in projects implementation.