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Launching of the Development Effectiveness Review Report on Sierra Leone
On Wednesday, December 9. 2015, the African Development Bank launched the Development Effectiveness Review (DER) on Sierra Leone in Freetown. The ceremony was attended by Senior Government Officials, development partners, civil society organizations and the media.
In delivering his keynote address on behalf of the Government, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kaifala Marah, commended the Bank for publishing the report. The Minister called it an innovative strategy and process that should be emulated by other development partners. He acknowledged the robustness of the partnership and trust between the Bank and the Government and People of Sierra Leone. Marah also commended the timeliness of the report and assured the Bank that the recommendations in the report will be taken into account by the Government as they embark on a Mid-Term Review of the Country’s PRSP III – the Agenda for Prosperity. Marah reiterated the Government’s commitment to pursue economic diversification as a way to achieving inclusive transformational development in Sierra Leone.
In his opening remarks, Yero Baldeh, the Bank’s Resident Representative, thanked the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for hosting the event and reaffirmed the Bank’s continued commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s development agenda. He commended the remarkable progress the country has made in consolidating a peaceful democracy and moving from post-war humanitarian support and reconstruction towards laying the foundation for long-term inclusive growth. Baldeh reiterated that despite the progress made, it is imperative to note that serious drivers of fragility still remain, and these have been compounded by the twin shocks of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and the falling iron ore prices. To this effect, he noted that more needs to be done in building the resilience of the country.
Chiji Ojukwu, Director of the Bank’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, on an official mission to Sierra Leone, took the opportunity of the event to highlight the main action points from the High-Level Ministerial conference on agricultural transformation that was held by the Bank in Dakar in October 2015. Ojukwu highlighted the Bank’s renewed commitment to support countries in fragile situations and made reference to how the new High 5s will contribute towards addressing the drivers of fragility in such countries. He explained that his mission to Sierra Leone was to a response to the Government’s invitation for a dialogue and request for the Bank to support the country in the development of an agricultural transformation program with a strong focus on youth employment.