It could be recalled that in February 2019, Officials from three financing institutions visited Sierra Leone on an appraisal mission to assess the education sector support project which is a priority of the government in Kailahun, Magburaka, Bo, Kenema and Freetown. The Mission fielded in Officials from Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) Opec Fund for International development (OFID) and Saudi Fund for Development, who visited the said locations from 16-17 February, 2019. Finance Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa has over the weekend signed a US$20 million financing agreement with Sidi Ould Tah, Director General of BADEA in Khartoum, Sudan as part of their own support towards the education project. The US$68 million project is also co-funded by OFID with US$20 million, Saudi Fund US$25 million and the government’s counterpart funding of US$3 million. The financing project included the rehabilitation and expansion of Bunumbu Teachers College (Kailahun), Milton Margai College of Education (MMCE), the rehabilitation of four schools, namely, Government Secondary School, Bo, Government Secondary school, Kenema, Government Secondary School, Magburaka and the Prince of Wales, and construction of a Diagnostic Center for Excellence.
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Mission Lead, Ing. Hany Fahmy, Country Officer- Sierra Leone at BADEA, during the appraisal mission in February expressed satisfaction from all the locations he visited, “when we met with each school or college authorities I was particularly interested in hearing from the authorities whether they have reflected their needs and their future requirements to ensure that the concept design have accommodated it.” On the duration before the commencement of the project, he said that there is always procedure and stages, “we are within close meetings with the ministries to put in a convincing program for procuring the services” he hoped. Operations Supervisor at BADEA, Foday Kamara said that the project is expected to give a facelift to the current looks of the schools and colleges with the rehabilitation and construction of these structures. “This is a justifiable project as by what we have seen they are all in dilapidating conditions, some we cannot enter physically, certainly there are some good structures but generally it is not really good” he said.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
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