Freetown- Sierra Leone (PANA) -- The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has relieved the Government of Sierra Leone of a debt of about US$9.
7 m i llion in net present value terms under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC ) initiative.
According to the Director-General of BADEA, Mr Abdel Aziz Khelef, the rescheduli ng comes as a result of BADEA's willingness to participate in the HIPC Initiativ e , which is in line with other multilateral financing institutions such as the In t ernational Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfD B ).
Speaking during a signing ceremony in Freetown, Mr Abdel Aziz Khelef said by the end of March 2008, BADEA's assistance to Sierra Leone had reached US$65.
33 mill i on to finance 14 developmental projects.
He said BADEA's operations covered 43 eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to a number of regional organizations.
The Director-General said projects selected by BADEA were those directed towards improving the living conditions of the people, easing pressure on them and redu c ing poverty.
The projects particularly related to rural development and the environment such as rural water supply and sewage, or those aiming at reducing negative impact of drought and desertification, were in line with current approaches to developmen t , he said.
"The operations of BADEA range from infrastructure, agriculture and rural develo pment, rural water supply, electricity, rural roads, animals and fish production , energy, industry, social and the banking sectors over and above all, technical a ssistance operations," said Abdel Aziz Khelef.
Signing on behalf of the Government, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Dev elopment Momodu Kargbo described the debt relief as a "privilege" and said Sierr a Leone was enjoying such privilege as a result of a long standing partnership wi t h BADEA, which spanned several decades.
The Deputy Minister said the signing ceremony was another milestone in the count ry's development cooperation with BADEA.