Following the country’s reaching the completion point in the highly indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative; a review of the country’s financing strategy is underway.
This initiative is currently taking place at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex, Kingtom in Freetown.
It is being jointly organized by the West Africa Institute for financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and Debt Relief International (DRI).
Dr Osi Itsede, the Director General of WAIFEM, said a review of the country’s financing strategy was necessary to ensure long term debt sustainability. “Besides, the drive to achieve the Millennium Development Goals demands the formulation of appropriate policies targeted at catalyzing significant levels of external financing without compromising debt sustainability,” said the WAIFEM Director General.
He said the challenge of development finance currently facing the country was twofold, to ensure that Sierra Leone received sufficient funds to meet its development goals and at the same time to avoid sowing the seeds of a future debt overhang or debt distress.
The minister of Finance, David Carew, said WAIFEM and DRI were assisting government to organize a framework for new borrowing and capacity building for debt management to avoid the relapse of unsuitable debt situation.
He said they would also be training about 30 government officials, including the university in the analysis of debts and new financing strategies and that they would further identify a technical team of stakeholders involved in debt macroeconomic management, and poverty reduction programming who would periodically review and update the debt and new financing strategy for Sierra Leone.
The workshop is underway till April 4 and the participants will principally review the level of aid flows and the impact on poverty reduction and what can be done to increase aid flows without creating debt servicing difficulties for the economy. They will also update Sierra Leone’s Donor Compendium and identify the ideal financing type or envelope for development.