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Finance Minister Holds Cordination Meeting On Country Policy And Institutional Assessment

Finance Minister Holds Cordination Meeting On Country Policy And Institutional Assessment

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Khelfala Marah, has on Tuesday 11th June 2013 held a coordination meeting on Country Policy and Institutional Assessment at his Ministry’s Conference Room.

The Country Policy and Institutional Assessment framework (CPIA) assesses the quality of a country’s present policy and Institutional framework and its rating is used by the World Bank, the African Development  Bank and other multilateral Financial Institutions to determine the amount of resources allocated to low income Countries, including Sierra Leone. The CPIA rates countries against a set of 16 criteria grouped in four clusters which are economic management; structural policies; policies for social inclusion and equity and public sector management and institutions. The ratings provide an important snapshot of the strengths and weaknesses of the country’s performance assessed against other countries in similar circumstances. Thus policies and programmes implemented by key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) contribute to improving the Country’ CPIA rating, and hence enabling the country to receive more resources from its development partners.

The meeting brought together Cabinet Ministers, Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of MDAs.

Welcoming participants to the program the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Khelfala Marah, informed the audience that the “Agenda for Change” is gone and that there are projects and programs they are working upon which have sailed through and served as the bases of the “Agenda for Prosperity’, water, Roads, energy, schools, Free Health care and many other projects are on- going. He reminded the participants about the retreat they had with Ministers on the ‘The Agenda for Prosperity’ which was followed by another with Development partners and with His Excellency the President. He added that the pillar leads have been working in collaboration with relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies to finalized or contribute to the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’. He pointed out that Development Aid dropped by 2 % in 2011 which was later followed by 4%, while noting that amidst all fiscal Constraints in developed economy Government will be able to take forward the ‘Agenda for prosperity’. Dr Marah within a particular bound rate an equilibrium they called Low debt – low growth equilibrium. He maintained that His Excellency the President has challenged that and they as Government officials have determined that Sierra Leone will not grow small base on the fact that the nation had all what it takes to expand Sierra Leone’s Economy. He furthered however said they should be in position to mobilize resources in order to boom the economy and highlighted that immediately the ‘Agenda for prosperity’ is launched they will organize a conference through which they will bring along Government Bilateral – Multilateral partners as well as the private sector to discuss ways and means of being able to finalized the ‘Agenda for prosperity’. Dr Khelfala Marah, explained that they have millennium challenge cooperation compact which will be of great use. He hoped that the mineral Resources will continue as well as the traditional sources of revenues to support them down the road while stating that there  are however other avenues. He pointed out that they are gathered to discuss on one of the avenues which is the country institutional assessment framework, which is the tool that is being used by the World Bank & the African Development Bank to assess the Institutional deficiency policy formulation and implementation rating the member. He noted that Sierra Leone current score is between 3.3 to 3.5 out of six, and stated that Ghana has been able to benefit from the above framework to levels above $ 400 million dollars. He said Sierra Leone was able to benefit about $ 113 million dollars. The Minister of Finance noted that like Rwanda which is a post conflict country, ratings has improved and benefiting more than Sierra Leone and stated that this is due to the fact that Sierra Leone failed to have a round table conference to tell their own story, engaged each other and take a look at their numbers in order to be in a better position to up-date them. He recalled that when they embarked on that process during the MCC Sierra Leone succeeded and was able to score twelve above many other economies within the sub region. He reiterated that they are together in order to sensitize the participants to underscore the significance of the CPIA rating, that there are four key areas in which one of them sit within the Ministry of Finance, which is the economic management one. He explained that for structural policies sit under the purview of the Ministry of trade, Bank of Sierra Leone, labor Ministry and OARG. Dr Marah, further stated that the other segment policies for social inclusion and Equity fall under the Gender Ministry, Ministry of Finance, Health, Education ,Labor Ministry, NASCA, NASSIT and EPL. He said under public sector management there are five which include Labor , Law officers, The Sierra Leone Police, Finance and the Audit Service and made it categorically clear that there are sixteen MDAs that are responsible for the implementation of the CPIA. He reiterated that Sierra Leone current rating is 3.3 and stressed on the need to improve the current figure and went on to crave the indulgence of the participants that they would have a representative from the World Bank who has been using the CPIA tool to share with them what the CPIA is all about, the process ownership areas what is it that they would have to do in order for them to have full knowledge about the CPIA and be in a better position to discuss it from the same page. He commended the participants for their high level cooperation, which he said shows their determination to deliver the CPIA as countries have done.

The World Bank consultant Yusuf Bob- Foday made a presentation on CPIA and the UNDP consultant Eric DZiedzic made a presentation on the draft corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework.

BY HAWANATU BOCKARI, MoFED PRESS OFFICER

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