President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma received today, Tuesday 3rd October 2017, a high level delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) led by its vice president and treasurer Mr Jingdong Hua.
The delegation, which was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Foday B. L. Mansaray, is in the country to have first-hand information on how to support private sector development.
Welcoming the delegation at State House, President Koroma thanked the delegation for coming in to find ways to promote the private sector as government intensifies efforts to make it more viable. He described the new policies adopted by IFC as appropriate, and went on to highlight the impact the twin shocks of the deadly Ebola epidemic and the slump in the world market prices of commodities and iron ore had on Sierra Leone.
The president acquainted the delegation about the commencement of the second phase of Bumbuna hydro-electric project, as well as the ongoing expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, which will soon be transformed into a transhipment hub. The president also commended the delegation for the new approach to the current challenges facing government and private sector players, and assured them of government's continued cooperation.
On his part, Mr Hua affectionately wished President Koroma happy belated birthday while outlining the implementation of IFC programmes, including the management of IFC funds.
The IFC vice president and treasurer disclosed plans by the corporation to support the private sector, and pointed out that Sierra Leone is one of the countries they will be focusing on to provide the enabling environment for private sector development. He also informed that they had held fruitful meetings with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Governor of Bank of Sierra Leone, and reiterated IFC's commitment to stimulate the private sector.
He further suggested that government budget should target priority areas and pledged to continue to work with government along that path.