Madam Zeinab El Bakri, the vice president of the African Development Bank (ADB), has ended her three-day visited to Sierra Leone.
During the visit, which started on June 19, the vice president paid a courtesy call on the minister of finance and governor of ADB John Benjamin at his George Street office together with the country representative of the bank in Sierra Leone, Margaret Kilo.
At John Benjamin’s office, she was welcomed by the minister and other officials and was given a traditional cloth as a sign of appreciation for ADB’s work in the country. After meeting the minister, she also witnessed President Kabbah’s valediction speech in parliament.
Madam Bakri also visited the renovated Connaught hospital, which was sponsored by the bank, to see if the project they funded was being implemented.
At the hospital the vice president was received by Dr Baimba Baryoh who led the entourage at x-ray room 4 where she was shown some equipment bought for the hospital but are yet to be installed.
These white elephant x-ray equipment, the doctor said, had been in the room for one year and that they were finding it difficult to do x-ray at the hospital.
After her visit to the Connaught hospital, she went to the Tombo community to assess the bank’s fishery project and to talk with the people involved.
At the community different speakers including the headman, chiefs, women groups and other dignitaries explained the constraints they were facing with the project. Most of the women gave the reasons why they had not been able to pay the macro credit loans they secured from the bank.
After listening to the statements, the vice president assured them that as a female she would help them to sustain their lives.
The following day the ADB inaugurated its new country office at the Miatta Conference hall, Brookfields in Freetown. It was inaugurated by the finance minister.
The ceremony was climaxed by a luncheon at the Sierra Leone Bank Complex, while the day ended with a cultural evening at the British Council hall.
On June 21, she called a press conference at the British to wrap up her visit to Sierra Leone.