Finance Ministry Holds 2021 Country Policy, Institutional Assessment Retreat

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By Ministry of Finance, Coms unit

The Ministry of Finance yesterday Thursday 29th April 2021 held a day retreat on the Country’s Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for 2020 reporting and action plan for 2021 at the New Brookfields Hotel Jomo Kenyatta Road in Freetown.

The CPIA is a diagnostic tool that is intended to capture the quality of a country’s policies and institutional arrangements. Its focus is on the key elements that are within the country’s control rather than on outcomes that are influenced by elements outside the country’s control. More specifically, the CPIA measures to which extent a country’s policy and institutional framework support sustainable growth and poverty reduction, and consequently the effective use of development assistance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of this one-day retreat, the Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa stated that the need to meet and discuss programs and reforms that can influence the country’s CPIA performance cannot be overemphasized.

“The CPIA is a resource mobilization tool. Whilst domestic resource mobilization continues to improve, external resource mobilization is important to fill in any fiscal gap” he added.

Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa further stated that Sierra Leone could get more International donor assistance if it improves on its Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) rating.

He explained that the CPIA is important because it is not only a world Bank led program which measures the extent to which a developing country’s policy and institutional structures support steady and lasting economic growth, but also reduces poverty and ensures effective use of donor funds.

He continued that The World Bank under the 2020 International Development Association Cycle allocated to Sierra Leone $127.06 million and that since Development assistance resources are limited,  countries must compete to access these resources which are allocated based on peer performance.

The Chairman of the opening ceremony who is also the Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu encouraged ministers and technical staff of the Ministries, Department, and Agencies that dealing with reforms relating to the CPIA to take ownership of the program.

He admonished them to meet the 2020 reporting deadline of June 2021 and also put together a proper action plan with cost to facilitate both policy actions and action plans for 2021 reporting.

In his presentation on Sierra Leone’s CPIA status, the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Finance Alimamy Bangura stated that Sierra Leone scored 3.1% out of 6% in the 2019 CPIA rating, which he said is below the mean of 3.25%.

He attributed the country’s performance to lack of coordination across cluster sectors, untimely reporting among others.

He said the CPIA is not only useful to attract more external resources but also used by other international organizations and agencies like the MCC to rate the country’s performance in different areas.

The country policy and institutional assessment have four (4) clusters – Economic Management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity, and public sector management and institutions.

These four clusters are cover by the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Sierra Leone, Audit Service Sierra Leone, Anti-Corruption Commission, National Revenue Authority, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Basic Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Nasca among others.