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Sierra Leone speaks for Sub-Sahara African member countries at the Islamic Development Bank in Asggabat, Turkmenistan, 2-3 June, 2009
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Jun 10, 2009, 17:10
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Sierra Leone speaks for Sub-Sahara African member countries at the Islamic Development Bank in Asggabat, Turkmenistan, 2-3 June, 2009

The Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr. Samura Kamara, has commended the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for its support to Sierra Leone during the trying times of our brutal civil conflict.

Dr. Kamara made the remarks at the 34th IDB Group Board of Governors Annual Meeting which was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The meeting which was attended by Ministers, senior Government functionaries, representatives from Central Banks from the 56 IDB member countries, including heads of other international financing institutions and agencies aimed at reviewing the work of IDB and charting the way forward.

While delivering the statement on behalf of Governors of the 27 Africa member countries, the Minister lauded the effort of the Bank for its continued support to Africa member countries, especially those experiencing serious economic difficulties. He thanked the Bank for the US$2 billion Ouagadougou Declaration Programme, which commenced from 2003 to 2007. Describing the Special Programme for the Development of Africa (SPDA) as a more ambitious successor programme, the Minister maintained that the programme aimed at supporting poverty reduction initiatives in priority sectors to the tune of US$4 billion.

Dr. Kamara observed that the IDBs Jeddah Declaration fund sourced from grant resources totaling US$20 billion would address food crisis and enhance food security in least developed member countries. The Minister urged the Bank to focus attention on the development of the private sector which he said, has a strong potential for the largest employment of the population, adding that as the engine for growth, it will strengthen capacity building and support regional integration in Africa. He expressed delight over the opening of a new regional office in Dakar, Senegal, which he emphasized will facilitate dialogue among member states in the sub region, and support the ongoing institutional reform in the Bank thereby invariably strengthening its services to member countries. In a related development, Dr. Kamara held fruitful bilateral discussion with the IDB President, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, Vice President (Operations) Mr. Birama Boubacar Sidibe and colleague Governors. It was agreed that a joint review mission be conducted in July 2009 on the Banks ongoing projects with a view to identifying areas of future cooperation. Responding, the Vice President (Operations), Mr. Birama Boubacar Sidibe, agreed to coordinate Arab funding agencies for the resource mobilization meeting ahead of the Consultative Group meeting which will be held in London in November this year. The Annual Meeting was climaxed with the signing of loan and grant agreements with various member countries.

Meanwhile, a grant agreement was signed between the IDB President, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali on behalf of the IDB and Dr. Samura Kamara on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone to the tune of US$700,000 to mitigate the increasing food crisis in support of President Koromas Agenda for Change.

Sierra Leones delegation included the Financial Secretary, Mr. Sheku Sambadeen Sesay and Deputy Secretary responsible for the Islamic Development Banks country portfolio, the Rev. Emmanuel Pewa.


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