President Julius Maada Bio Champions Africa’s Development Agenda at IDA21 Summit in Nairobi

Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio, recently participated in the International Development Association Heads of State summit held in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit, known as IDA21, convened leaders to discuss critical financing priorities for Africa and advocate for increased funding to support development objectives in the region.


Hosted by Kenyan President William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto, the summit aimed to highlight key areas requiring development financing in Africa and to appeal to IDA donors and partners for a substantial increase in funding for the IDA21 cycle. This funding would address the development challenges and opportunities faced by African nations.


During the summit, President Bio expressed gratitude and optimism, emphasizing the importance of accelerating Africa’s development through the replenishment of IDA resources. He acknowledged the various challenges confronting African countries, including the impacts of COVID-19, economic vulnerabilities, political instability, climate change, and the food crisis triggered by the conflict in Ukraine.


President Bio stressed the need for decisive and collaborative actions from African governments, the international community, and development partners like the World Bank Group. He highlighted the importance of good governance, transparency, and accountability as fundamental to building resilient institutions and fostering environments conducive to investment and innovation.

In alignment with the Nairobi IDA Communiqué, President Bio emphasized the need for increased resources to support sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure across sectors such as agriculture, energy, transport, water, sanitation, and healthcare. He also underscored the importance of empowering women and girls, improving debt management, and enhancing domestic revenue mobilization efforts.


President Bio concluded by reaffirming Sierra Leone’s commitment to people-centred development through initiatives like the “Feed Salone” program and other strategic priorities. He called for substantial financial and technical support, as well as strategic partnerships, to drive economic growth and reduce extreme poverty in Sierra Leone and across Africa. President Bio expressed optimism about the support from traditional, new, and emerging donors for the IDA21 replenishment effort.


President Ajay Banga, speaking on behalf of the World Bank, emphasized IDA’s role as a reliable partner in Africa’s development journey. He highlighted IDA’s commitment to supporting and investing in the people of Africa by streamlining processes, eliminating unnecessary rules, and enhancing efficiency to deliver results faster. He envisioned a more focused and streamlined IDA that could make a significant impact by addressing fundamental needs such as energy access, healthcare availability, agricultural potential, and essential infrastructure and skills development.


The International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960 as part of the World Bank, provides zero to low-interest loans and grants to the world’s poorest countries. It aims to reduce poverty by supporting programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve living conditions. IDA is a vital source of assistance for the 75 poorest countries globally, providing essential donor funds for basic social services in these nations.

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