By Foday Moriba Conteh
On Thursday 28 November 2019 the Executive Director at the World Bank Group for Africa Group 1 Constituency, Anne Kabagambe, said in a meeting with His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio at State Lodge in Freetown that Government’s vision to construct the Lungi bridge will be one of the greatest achievements for Sierra Leone.
She thanked the President for taking time to meet them and to discuss issues relating to the relationship between the Bank and Sierra Leone. She noted that they were working with Sierra Leone as close partners in development, adding that she was excited that the two parties have always had partnership frameworks that led their conversations.
She said African countries were moving into a digital economy and commended the Government of Sierra Leone for being instrumental in looking ahead, saying that they were excited to be able to deliver on that and expressed hope that working with the team in-country, they would be able to deliver.
Presenting the World Bank Chief at the State Lodge, Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said that Madam Kabagambe was a critical factor in their engagement with the Bank. He added that she is a very experienced technocrat with years of professional service and representing twenty-one African countries at the Bank.
In his response, President Bio said that his Government is fully committed to developing the country. He said Sierra Leone had had quite a lot of challenges and therefore quite a lot to do to surmount those challenges. He said he valued the partnership and cordiality between Sierra Leone and the World Bank for which he expressed gratitude to the Bank.
The President said his Government started off with a very difficult economy for which he had to do quite a lot to stabilize the situation, adding that there were still challenges. He mentioned that his Government had started the process of digitalization as a way to catch up with the global economy.
“The Lungi Bridge, for us, is transformational because it is important to open up this country. We have identified it and because it is going to open up the country, we are still determined to continue with it. We are committed to better the lives of our people and we are creating the eco-system that invites investments,” he said.
Prior to her appointment as Executive Director in November 2018, Ms. Kabagambe served as Alternate Executive Director for the same Constituency for a period of two years. She also possesses over thirty years of work experience in the development arena.