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IMF Resident Representative Outreach concludes seminar for Mayors/Chairpersons in Makeni

IMF Resident Representative Outreach concludes seminar for Mayors/Chairpersons in Makeni

In a bid to strengthen good governance, accountability and transparency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative – Dr. Francis Kumah, over the weekend, held two day seminar for District Council chairmen/Mayors across the country.  (Photo: A cross section of Mayors, Chairpersons and IMF’s Kumah flanked seated second right)

With the IMF providing support for 187 member  countries across the globe, Sierra Leone initially the organization in September, 1962. Since then, Sierra Leone has benefitted from four periods ranging from Independence and pre-conflict period engagement, conflict-period engagement, post conflict period engagement and the current “new extended credit system”.

However, the new Extended Credit System (ECF) which the IMF board has approved a new 3 years IMF program signed in October 21, 2013, for an amount of $95.9million which is Sierra Leone’s second economic program with the IMF after the global financial crisis in 2008-09.

This project, according to the IMF Resident Representative will support  the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) through the Agenda for Prosperity, which focuses on consolidating the gains from the previous ECF, strengthening Revenue Performance and improving public financial management to efficiently channel adequate resources to infrastructure and poverty-related spending and stepping up financial sector reforms to supported successful implementation of the PRSP, and helps to stabilize the economy from shocks of he global economic crisis.

In all of these successes and challenges; the IMF Country Representative- Dr. Kumah assured that the IMF will continue to work with Sierra Leone based on government’s strides to meeting its utmost challenges.

Part of his statement, Alimamy Bangua , Director of Economic Policy-Ministry of Finance and Economic Development recalled that it is almost ten years when the Local Government Ministry came to fruition in bid to strengthen the country’s economy through decentralized functions, yet, much needs to be done. Mr. Bangura also talked about some of the challenges as well, as what he called, poor service delivery  to rural areas. He however admonished the Chairmen and Mayors to work hard on strengthening their revenue mobilization through the collection of tax, shop/city rates etc. so as to meet with what he referred to as the quarterly disbursements , which he also appealed for timely submission to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Among attending personalities were the Kono, Freetown and Bo city deputy Mayors. District Chairmen from Kambia, Koinadugu, Kenema, Kono, Moyamba, Kailahun, and Western Rural Districts. The host Mayor was Mrs. Sunkarie Kabba Kamara, who also chaired the successful program at the prestigious Wusum Hotel in the northern city of Makeni.

By means of familiarizing with the constrains and challenges of the Chairmen and Mayors in their first term of office; opportunity for a one year experience report was offered the participants. Practically, a lot of challenges and constrains and innovative ideas were noted for wider consideration. The vote of thanks was ushered by IMF Administrative Assistant-Ms Lydia Heroe.

To be continued ……………..

By Alie Mozart Sesay, Makeni

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