Korovy Val, Moscow, Russia – Tuesday 7 September 2021 – The Minister of Finance, Mr Denis Vandi and members of his Delegation, including Mr. Mathew Dingie, Mr. Sam Aruna and Ambassador Mohamed Yongawo, arrived in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, to attend the 21st Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in conjunction with the 46th Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting of the IsDB Group, on the theme:”Respond, Restore, Restart: Post-COVID Resilience and Prosperity for all“.
The delegation, which included Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Russia, HE Yongawo, accredited to Tashkent, held Roundtable Meetings with different officials including the Host Finance Minister, Mr. Timur Ishmetov.
The Sierra Leonean officials also had fruitful engagements with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia Funds- both groups have been undertaking important infrastructural and welfare projects in Sierra Leone for many years. They reaffirmed their commitments to continue working with the Sierra Leone Government for the benefit of the people.
Minister Vandi engaged the newly elected President of the Islamic Development Bank, HE Muhammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, in an important review meeting.
“IDB has been operating in Sierra Leone since 1982, and has not only been a crucial partner but has been playing a significant role in the country’s socio-economic growth”, HE Al-Jasser said.
The President assured Minister Vandi of the Bank’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone in all sectors.
During the Minister’s meeting with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Finance, they agreed to form a working group to collaborate and exchange ideas on various Economic Policies and methods of implementation.
Uzbekistan is a landlocked country with 33 million people. The country attained independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among others, it boasts of $37 billion gold reserve and the speed of development in all sectors is admirable.
The Forum discussed the future outlook to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Forum highlighted the IsDB Group’s US$ 2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Program (SPRP) for COVID-19 under its 3Rs approach: “Respond, Restore and Restart”.
The delegation represented President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction administration where they also met with local business leaders and entrepreneurs to woo them to invest in Sierra Leone.
Although Minister Vandi had a brief stopover in Moscow, he paid a courtesy call on the Sierra Leone Ambassador and staff at the Moscow Embassy
After the week-long event, Ambassador Yongawo also organized a special meeting between the Sierra Leone Delegation headed by the Finance Minister and potential Russian investors including those who are currently operating in Sierra Leone.
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Festus J. Lahai
Moscow, Russian Federation