Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – Deputy Minister of Finance II, Bockarie Kalokoh, together with the Minister of Agriculture, Ambassador Abubakarr Karim, Deputy Principal Financial Secretary, Mathew Dingi, Director of multilateral operations at the ministry of finance, Sam Aruna represented Sierra Leone in the just concluded 24th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank, IsDB, in Egypt on the theme “beyond recovery; building resilience and sustainability”.
Sierra Leone is a member country of the IsDB and has benefited from funds to implement projects in education, health, infrastructure and agriculture among others.
Among key issues discussed were, scaling up climate finance to drive the transition to a green economy, financing sustainable development from a sustainable and inclusive recovery to a resilient future, accelerating recovery and reducing inequalities; a renewed sustainable development pathway towards 2030, accelerating the green energy transition through public-private partnership and more.
The issues around food security and petroleum products were of keen interest and was largely considered a major crisis affecting member countries.
Recommendations and suggestions which will help attract finances for low-income countries were also highlighted.
During the meeting the head of the Sierra Leone delegation, Mr Kalokoh, who has a wealth of knowledge from the private sector, held several fruitful engagements with donor partners like IsDB fund, Kuwait fund, Saudi fund, BADEA, Africa Finance Cooperation etc, while also asking for more support to the country.
He also stressed the need for the Bank to address the COVID-19 pandemic as it is of great global and humanitarian concern. “The Islamic Development Bank should increase their support at this trying time to low-income countries like Sierra Leone, who are adversely affected by this pandemic,” he noted.
The Minister of Agriculture, Ambassador Karim, also held discussions with partners regarding the green energy and food chain development, the Tormabum rice project and other agricultural activities to improve the lives of citizens.
The bilateral meetings ended with firm commitments from the Islamic Development Bank and partners who pledged their continued support to government policies and infrastructure.