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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Joins Colleague Heads of State in Kenya for the International Development Association Heads of State Summit

Nairobi, Kenya, Monday 29 April 2024 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has attended the two-day International Development Association Heads of State summit, IDA21, to discuss key priorities for financing in Africa and championing ambitious financing replenishment that will support transformational development objectives in the region.
Host President, His Excellency William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto, welcomed his colleagues and established that the summit was aimed at asserting to IDA donors and other partners the critical priority areas for development financing in Africa, in particular, and requesting them to consider a significantly higher level of funding for the IDA21 cycle to support the continent’s development challenges and opportunities along with IDA countries in other regions.
In his statement, President Julius Maada Bio expressed gratitude and optimism, emphasising the importance of accelerating Africa’s development through the replenishment of IDA resources. He acknowledged the challenges faced by African nations, including the impacts of COVID-19, economic vulnerabilities, political instability, climate change, and the food crisis triggered by the conflict in Ukraine.
President Bio also highlighted the need for decisive and collaborative actions from African governments, the international community, and reliable development partners like the World Bank Group.
He underscored the significance of a bolder vision for Africa’s sustainable growth, focusing on good governance, transparency, and accountability as key cornerstones for resilient institutions and conducive environments for investment and innovation.
In support of the Nairobi IDA Communiqué, President Bio reiterated the need for increased resources to drive quality, sustainable, and climate-resilient infrastructure in investments across sectors such as agriculture, energy, transport, water, sanitation, and healthcare. He also stressed the importance of empowering women and girls, improving debt management, and strengthening domestic revenue mobilization efforts.
President Bio concluded by reaffirming Sierra Leone’s commitment to people-centred development through initiatives like the “Feed Salone” programme and other strategic priorities.
The President called for substantial financial and technical support, as well as strategic partnerships to spur economic growth and alleviate extreme poverty in Sierra Leone and across the African continent. He said he remained optimistic about the ability of traditional, new, and emerging donors to support the IDA21 replenishment effort.
Speaking on behalf of the World Bank, President Ajay Banga emphasised the point that IDA had been a reliable partner in Africa’s development journey, adding that the summit represented their shared commitment to accelerating progress. He highlighted IDA’s dedication to supporting and investing in the people of Africa by streamlining processes, eliminating unnecessary rules and redundancies, and enhancing efficiency to deliver results faster.
He said he envisioned a more focused and streamlined IDA that could make a significant impact by advancing fundamental needs such as energy access and healthcare availability, maximising agricultural potential, and developing essential infrastructure and skills.
IDA is part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries, established in 1960 to reduce poverty by providing zero to low-interest loans and grants for programmes that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions. It is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries and is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in these countries.
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