The Vice President of Economics and Private Sector Development of the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), Susan Lund, who is on a three-day working visit in Sierra Leone has on Thursday 9th June 2021 paid a courtesy visit to the Deputy Minister of Finance II Bockarie Kalokoh who is representing the Minister of Finance Denise Vandi at his George Street office.
Welcoming the vice president to the ministry and the country, Bockarie Kalokoh stated that Sierra Leone has over the years enjoyed a cordial relationship with the cooperation, stating that this visit by no less a person than the Vice President is a manifestation.
He further stated that because of the confidence impose on the leadership of the country; development partners are still engaging the Bio Led administration on projects one year before national elections. Mr Kalokoh thanked the International Finance cooperation for their interventions in the private sector over the years and requested that the cooperation expands on its portfolio for Sierra Leone.
Deputy Minister II Bockarie also stated that one big challenge the private sector is facing is access to long term sustainable financing. “Companies going into production most times raised their capital which is not sustainable” he added.
In the area of support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mr Kalokoh stated that even though they faced several challenges but also outlined opportunities to support their development through providing finance and capacity building. He called for further technical discussions to look at the IFC’s portfolio, opportunities and possible interventions.
In her statement, the Vice President of Economics and Private Sector Development of the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), Susan Lund said the IFC is committed to expanding its operations in Sierra Leone, stating current they have several projects with the private sector in Sierra Leone like Kings Beverages including their agricultural supply chain and PC and sons onions farm in Lungi.
Susan Lund continued that they are interested in energy, infrastructure and financial services, stating that they are here to engage both government and private sector to explore the opportunities.
Principal Deputy Finance Secretary Mathew Dingie in his statement stated that the government have been doing a lot to support the private amidst all the challenges.
He furthered that the government is looking at private sector interventions in providing services in agriculture, water and energy. He also spoke about the policy shift that provides space for the private sector in agriculture.
Susan Lund accompanied by Aliou Maiga regional director of IFC and Freddy Roy adviser to the VP also visited the Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Chief Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa, Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone prof. Kelfala Kallon as-well-as other government and private sector players.