Sierra Leone: New Country Manager for AfDB Pays Courtesy Call On President Bio, Assures of Her Wealth of Experience

Presidential Lodge, Freetown, Friday 16 April 2021 - New Country Manager of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Halima Yussuf Hashi, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio where she assured of her wealth of experience working in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Uganda and Rwanda.

Deputy Minister of Finance, Patricia Nyanja Laverley, introduced the new AfDB boss as a Tanzanian with more than ten years' experience at the bank, which had also supported Sierra Leone to stabilise its fiscal imbalances to the national budget between 2019 and 2021.

"With madam Halima Hashi coming on board, we will like to adopt the foundation to operate together. We hope that with her coming we will further deepen partnership with the bank," she noted.

Madam Hashi thanked President Bio for meeting her despite his busy schedule, saying: "Your Excellency, I am really looking forward to deepening the good working relationship between Sierra Leone and the AfDB. The bank considers Sierra Leone as an important partner".

She said she was impressed with the country's handling of the Coronavirus from the inception to the vaccination process, adding that the bank would continue to support the government with its development efforts, particularly in the agriculture and energy sectors.

Executive Director of AfDB, representing Sierra Leone and four other countries on the board of the bank, Madam Kenyeh Barlay, said her role at the bank was to seek the interest of the country and to follow up on the commitment of the bank to the development trajectory of the country. She said the bank was as interested in supporting the agriculture and energy sectors, as it was also looking forward to supporting the Hands Off Our Girls campaign.

President Julius Maada Bio welcomed the new AfDB boss and said the country had enjoyed a cordial relationship with the bank, adding that he looked forward to deepening that and extending the different programmes. He noted that he had an ambitious administration that was working harder to lay a solid foundation for the development of the country.

"The bank has been a friend and supporter in everything that has happened here. Our aim as a government is human capital development. I think that provides the most sustainable and solid foundation for building a nation-state," he noted.

President Bio said he considered the bank as a vibrant partner that would help reduce employment among the youths in the country.

"As I welcome you, I want to plead with you to help us strengthen that relationship. If we have to be a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is just but right that we promote education from numeracy to vocational training, to all forms that will develop the human being. So, the human being becomes part of the development of the country," he averred.

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