On July 10, 2024, the Ministry of Finance marked one year since President Dr. Julius Maada Bio appointed Matthew Dingie as Financial Secretary. Reflecting on his tenure, Dingie acknowledged the challenges but credited his colleagues for their support, enabling the Ministry to navigate through a demanding year successfully.

Dingie emphasized that, with the leadership, management, and staff’s cooperation, the Ministry has stabilized the economic situation, laying a solid foundation for future recovery. Inflation has decreased significantly, from 54% in June 2023 to 35% in May 2024, while the exchange rate has remained stable since October 2023. Although interest rates remain high, the economy is projected to grow by 4% this year.

Highlighting key achievements, Dingie noted the successful conclusion of the 8th and final review of the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program in November 2023, resulting in a $22 million disbursement as direct budget support. Additionally, the Ministry met all the World Bank’s Development Policy Operation (DPO) triggers, securing a full $65 million disbursement in December 2023.

Dingie and the Minister of Finance played pivotal roles in concluding the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) negotiations for Sierra Leone. This culminated in the MCC board approving a $480 million compact in June 2023. In the same month, they mobilized over $800 million in pledges at a roundtable in Vienna, Austria, to support renewable energy and agriculture investments.

Our end June 2024 preliminary fiscal and monetary performance shows that we have met all three prior actions for a successor IMF program, which the board will consider and approve in October 2024 following technical negotiations in August and September. The new program will make us eligible for the IMF’s Resilient Sustainability Trust program, with board approval anticipated in February 2025. Both programs will enable disbursements totaling over $480 million in 36 months of program implementation,” Dingie stated.

Furthermore, the Ministry is in discussions with the World Bank for a $65 million budget support for 2024 and is engaging with the EU for support between 2024 and 2026.

Dingie attributed these achievements to the collective efforts of the Ministry’s team. He expressed gratitude to President Bio, the Vice President, and the Chief Minister for their support, and extended thanks to his colleagues, including the Honorable Minister, deputies, and all division heads. Recognizing the work ahead, Dingie remains committed to solidifying these gains and mitigating potential risks to Sierra Leone’s macroeconomic stability.