Monday, November 20, 2006

The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. J.D. Rogers , has reaffirmed that the country’s reserve is one hundred and seventy million dollar ($170,000,000), which he termed as investment.

He was responding to questions during a press conference held at the Bank auditorium in Freetown about an accusation in the ‘Standard Times newspaper, which said that the amount was not true.

The governor disclosed that a visiting IMF team had even once queried him that he had too much reserve , as compared to other countries

Mr. Rogers in another engagement gave a detail of what he called his two –month tour around the world between 9th September – 6th November 2006, which he said was successful.

One those countries that he toured was Colombo, where he said he attended the commonwealth Finance ministers meeting and that fruitful discussion were held as to how they can snowball support for post -conflict countries and also to embark on bilateral contacts.

The governor said he further visited Shegen in China to seek assistance for Sierra Leone so that it will come up with a cell phone technology that will compete with the private existing companies.

He said he continued his visit to Beijing, where he said he further sought funds to increase the Dodo Dam Megawatt which he said is presently about 1-2 megawatt. The th Chinese will raise it up to 6, and that this will now make it possible to extend electricity to Kailahun and other parts of the the Eastern region. These efforts , he said , were successful and that equipment are on their way into the country .

Mr. Rogers said his tour was extended to South Africa where he attended an investment forum and that he met with a senior adviser to the President, who is willing to invest in the country and that she will be visiting the country soon.

In a related matter, Micro- finance donor partners , who were here before for an investment committee meeting were also present at the conference to show case their support towards micro- financing in the country.

The German representative said that they will implement projects on behalf of the German governmentand that they support the DDR programme , which they hope will result sustainable growth in the Sierra Leone economy. .

Mr. Bob Conteh from the UNDP said the organization has three areas of focus, :- Governance Unit, peace and Development Unit and the poverty and Human Development Unit.He said these are the backbone to the establishment of the Development Assistance communication office (DACO) as a major tool to help reduce poverty in Sierra Leone

.He also said that the UNDP will also work for the successful implementation of the PRSP.

Statements were made by other members of the Donor visiting team