The outgoing World Bank Country Manager, Gayle Martin, has called on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to bid farewell after her tour of duty and introduced the Bank’s new Country Manager, Dr Abdu Muwonge.
She expressed appreciation to the President and his government for what she referred to as impressive leadership, adding that she was convinced that the new Country Manager would make significant gains, too.
The new World Bank boss, Dr Muwonge, said he was honoured and privileged to be assigned to Sierra Leone and to take off on a good footing from his predecessor, adding that he had worked for 15 years with the World Bank Group and hoped to use his experience to build on the legacy he inherited.
“I will sustain the good work from Gayle and will work closely with my colleagues here to maintain the achievements that the country is making,” he assured.
In his remarks, President Bio welcomed the delegation to State House and said that the Bank was a great source of concessional resources to the government of Sierra Leone and was also one of the key providers of technical assistance and capacity development.
He extended appreciation to the outgoing Country Manager, Gayle Martin, whom he said had been of significant support to the nation, particularly during the COVID-19 period.
“It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to the outgoing Country Manager, Dr Gayle Martin, who has been of tremendous help to Sierra Leone. She has demonstrated commitment to her job and showed personal interest in promoting the development aspirations of Sierra Leone, especially during these difficult times. She has helped to mobilise substantial resources from the Bank to support our development programmes, including our COVID-19 Health and Economic Response Programmes,” he maintained.
The President then welcomed Dr Abdu Muwonge, the Bank’s new manager and assured him that the country was peaceful, stable and very with friendly people, adding that his government was highly committed to the principles of good governance, prudent management of the resources of the state and to the lifting of the people out of poverty.
He said he looked forward to a continued good relationship with the Bank and advocated for universal access to COVID-19 vaccines to put behind the scourge of the pandemic.