November 3, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone has stated that based on an assessment by the Central Bank, there was an upside risk of inflation, but stressed that the challenges faced by the bank were not insurmountable.
Dr. Ibrahim L. Stevens was speaking last week at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown during a financing leasing investment forum organised by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group and the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA).
He reiterated the bank’s continued commitment in ensuring that they do all they could to manage the challenges as they have the experience, coupled with the fact that the growth trajectory was good.
He said they were working on a daily basis to improve on the regulatory environment, so as to ensure that they have an effectively functioning system that would support a wide range of financial products and services.
Dr. Stevens highlighted the conclusion of a four year National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which he said was expected to be launched this December, the establishment of Collateral Registry and the current financial literacy campaign as some of their successes.
He revealed that the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange would also be re-introduced, adding they envisage that in the coming years it would be utilised as a financing tool for the country’s economy.
“A wide range of players are approaching the bank in trying to bring in a range of digital financial services. We are open to that but also we are conscious of some of the issues around these products. There is a clear link between economic development and financial sector development,” he said.
He said they would continue to work tirelessly with their partners, including commercial banks, in trying to understand the intricacies of some of the complex instruments and ensure that the regulatory environment was sustainable.
The Deputy Bank Governor spoke about the financial sector development plan for Sierra Leone, which was spearheaded by the bank in 2009, but noted that the current plan has actually exceeded it lifespan even though it has been extended to 2017 because of funding.