Ministry of Finance Launches Economic Update
(SLENA, 11th July, 2019): The Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the World Bank and other partners in the banking sector have launched the Sierra Leone Economic update. The event took place on Thursday July 11th, 2019 at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel at Aberdeen in Freetown.
The report stated that there is high rate of inflation in the country especially in the exchange rate. It furthered that there is a high margin between deposit and lending rates.
There was a session on 'Restoring Macroeconomic Stability and Unlocking the Constraints to Inclusive Economic Growth which was chaired by the Honorable Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara.
Discussants called for a more disciplined fiscal stance. They noted that the decrease in expenditure also has an impact on the large increase in money supply. It was discussed that there is a need to boost economic growth to improve macroeconomic stability. It was noted that the Ministry of Finance has been putting reforms in place to address the issue.
The Director of the Economic Policy Research Unit in the Ministry of Finance, Alimamy Bangura noted that government's effectiveness is assessed based on the things that are provided for the general public. He mentioned that financial discipline is very relevant in achieving these objectives. He said that commitment control is also taken into consideration. He said that government has been investing in infrastructure, adding that efficient management policies would be put in place to manage public investments. He said that macroeconomic stability is achieved through the management of public and policy finance.
Discussants mentioned that there is a need to address and manage the depreciation of the exchange rate.
The Director of Research and Statistics, Bank of Sierra Leone, Morlai Bangura noted that the Central Bank is committed to tightening monetary policies. He said that the accumulation of debts by government possess a problem of financial stability in the country.
He said that the bank is aimed at figuring out policies that work best for the government and the country in general. He said that Sierra Leone depends hugely on the external sector. He mentioned that donor conditionality is also an issue. He said that instability always creates capital flow reversal.
The Practice Manager for the World Bank, AbebeAdugna stated that revenue projection is a big problem. He said that proper planning and management is crucial in achieving progress.
The IMF Country Representative, Dr. Iyabo Masha said that the issue of global monetary policies needed to be addressed, adding that implementing structural policies is key. She mentioned that debt overhand is a constraint to growth, noting that attracting foreign investors takes a lot of effort.