Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, 18 March, 2021-In support of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s Human Capital Development, the Government of Sierra Leone is to benefit from health and educational support projects worth Twenty-five Million United Sates Dollars ($25,000,000) from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
This was discussed when the Sierra Leone Ambassador, His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Jalloh paid a courtesy call on the new Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Dr. Sultan Al-Marshad.
SFD would also be funding the construction of 100 solar-regional powered bore holes for deprived communities in 77 villages across Sierra Leone.
The SFD is a Saudi Government agency that provides development assistance through grants and loans to developing countries and has financed programmes in different economic sectors such as transportation, agriculture, infrastructure and energy in Sub-Saharan Africa since its formation in the 1970s. The agency is currently working on 5 projects in Sierra Leone worth approximately $32 Million. They include the Western Area power generation project, the Kenema-Pendembu road reconstruction project and the rehabilitation and expansion of Fourah Bay College).
The principal purpose of the meeting was to enable Ambassador Jalloh ascertain the progress of pending projects as well as to explore areas for further cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the SFD.
Key issues discussed were the state of a draft agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and SFD for the construction of Regional Model Schools and an administrative building at the Ministry of Education, a 100 solar-regional powered bore holes project and a hospital, all worth millions of United States Dollars.
On the construction of an Administrative Building and model schools, Ambassador Jalloh informed the meeting that the Government of Sierra Leone, represented by the Ministry of Finance, is pleased with the conditions stipulated in the draft agreement and is keenly awaiting the signing of the said agreement. He underscored the importance of the project in helping to boost the education sector of the country.
“The agreement is ready for approval and we are only waiting a few details from the Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance to effect the signing of the agreement on our side, after which we would forward it to Sierra Leone by post for the Ministry of Finance to sign for implementation,” Eng. Faisal M. Al-Khatani assured.
The Director General of Operations informed that the bore holes project was now in the procurement of consultancy services stage, which would finish in the next six months and implementation would commence afterwards.
On the King Salman Regional Referral Hospital project, Ambassador Jalloh informed the meeting that the Government was reviewing the project proposal for the construction of a 250-bed hospital. He emphasised that the Government of Sierra Leone was keenly looking forward to the construction of that hospital in order to help boost the country’s health capacity.
Eng. Faisal Al-Khatani stated that the Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) was also willing to provide the grant for the technical studies upon receipt of an official request from the Sierra Leone Ministry of Finance.