IMF representative in Sierra Leone says goodbye to the country

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 August 2019:

The outgoing Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Sierra Leone – Dr Iyabo Masha, was in State House in Freetown yesterday, Monday 19 August 2019, to say goodbye to president Julius Maada Bio, marking the end of her tenure in Sierra Leone.

Presenting the outgoing IMF representative to President Bio, Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said that Dr Masha started operations in the country at a very critical time when there were challenges with the Ebola virus, the drastic collapse in the price of the iron ore, and at a time when investors were running out of the country.

He said during those years the IMF boss was in the middle of efforts to advise the government to bring back investors’ confidence. But with her support, Sierra Leone was able to re-launch the extended credit facility programme with the IMF, adding that apart from the amount that was approved, the re-launch of the programme was a door-opener for several other donor assistance and the beginning of a relationship with the World Bank, Saffa said.

Addressing president Bio, Dr Iyabo Masha said she was fortunate to work with two governments in Sierra Leone; and during the period she had come to appreciate some of the challenges countries in Africa face and how small changes in policy direction could make the difference.

She also commended the President for providing his staff with the opportunity to be able to show that indeed good policies could make the difference.

“I appreciate the fact that even though there has been a change in political leadership, your government has decided to retain most of the counterparts who have been doing a great job and that is one of the reasons we have been able to get results. There are some challenges but the policy package here is very good and all we have to do is to ensure that we are reminded of some of the things the government made policy to implement.

“Sierra Leone has come a very long way. Life expectancy has increased greatly and by the time the next Human Development Index is undertaken, there will be very strong outcomes by what I have seen in education. I have had the honour to work with a very strong team here that reflects gender balance. I believe in a very few years to come we will see a truly transformed country,” she said.

President Bio told Dr Marsha that Sierra Leone will always remember her contributions in stabilising and helping the growth of the country.

He said that Dr Marsha has shown keen interest in the destination Sierra Leone was moving and commended her for the good work she has done in the country.

4 Comments

  1. In my quiet moment I sometimes wish that the International Monetary Fund will have the same mandate as the International Criminal Court to investigate some of the financial crimes that most of our African leaders have committed in our continent, which in my opinion is equal to atrocities based on the number of Africans drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, mostly for economic reasons.

    Instead of imposing financial penalties which trickle down to the average citizens, they should hold court trials and prosecute any suspect; and if found wanting, should face the full penalty which I prefer to be jail time.

  2. I really want the IMF to leave my country forever. This is an organization that has encouraged my country to just keep borrowing money that it will never pay. The debts are now in their BILLIONS. I will never be happy about that. So, the mere fact that the head of the IMF is leaving my country without naming a replacement is welcome news and relief.

    BO, LEH DEN GO. AH BEE SIN DAY? GOD BLESS SIERRA LEONE to be ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT. AMEN AND AMEN.

  3. Is it not strange that the IMF representative in Sierra Leone has gone to State House to bid farewell to president Bio, without the people of Sierra Leone knowing who her replacement is?

    The usual protocol is that the name of the new IMF rep should be announced along with their start date and brief professional background info. Whats going on Mr IMF? Is the IMF pulling out of Sierra Leone indefinitely? The people of Sierra Leone want answers please!!

  4. We have to thank the IMF for the opportunity given to this government by providing financial help in order to jumpstart our failing economy. This is the most certified institution that can give the green light to potential credible investors, otherwise we will end up with flyby investors that will offer our nation subprime loans, predatory lending and investors with interest rates as high as 29% . But with the IMF and the World Banks, through the advice and guidance of their experts, will continue to attract credible investors with offers of single digit interest rate that will be reasonable and affordable for our country.

    In life there is no free loading, because loans are not free money for politicians to build private houses and buy fancy cars; and that was the result of the austerity measures that the former APC government put us through; and they now expect the current government to wave the magic wand to get rid of the financial problems that they created in ten years within 16 months.

    May the Almighty continue to direct our president to treat loans from the IMF and the World Bank in the positive way so that our credibility will be established which will eventually attract credible investors.

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