Sierra Leone Finance Minister
Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Finance

In it end of mission statement to Sierra Leone, the International Monetary Fund Team led by Karen Ongley, has revealed that despite all the laudable reforms of the Government of President Julius Maada Bio, the welfare of Sierra Leoneans remains challenging

“While the economy is continuing to recover, the outlook remains challenging and improving the well-being of Sierra Leoneans is an ambitious endeavor,” the IMF stated.

That the 2020 budget strikes a balance between meeting the country’s large development needs and navigating the tight financing situation.

In her personal statement,  Ongley stated that the economy is continuing to recover, with economic growth set to pick up in 2019 to 5.1 percent, up from 3.5 percent in 2018, buoyed by improved activity in agriculture, mining, and construction.

She was however quick to caution, “overcoming the legacy of prolonged economic instability and numerous shocks, and improving the wellbeing of Sierra Leoneans remains challenging.”

She further praised the National Development Plan of the government which is set to improve political and economic governance but further cautioned that the authorities are pursuing this plan against a tight financing situation.

“Pursuing these important goals—boosting education, health, agriculture, and infrastructure—will require carefully calibrated policies,” she reiterated.

It could be recalled that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Karen Ongley visited Freetown during October 30-November 13, 2019 to conduct the 2019 Article IV consultation and the second review of the IMF arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), approved by the Executive Board on November 30, 2017.


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