Sierra Leone — The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala, Marah has today, Thursday, 28th January 2016 together with the Deputy Managing Director of the Saudi Fund signed a-USD 12million funding agreement for the rehabilitation of Fourah Bay College (FBC).
Fourah Bay College, the oldest university in West Africa, was founded on 18 February 1827 and the first western-style university built in West Africa. It is a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone (USL) and was formerly affiliated with Durham University (1876-1967).
The college was established as an Anglican missionary school by the Church Missionary Society with support from Charles MacCarthy, the governor of Sierra Leone.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Minkailu Bah, senior staff of the lecturer and administrative corps,staff of the Directorate of Multilateral Projects in the Ministry of Finance and a cross section of the media.
The Fourah Bay College rehabilitation project is jointly financed by BADEA, OFI, the Saudi Fund and the Government of Sierra Leone. The cost of the project is estimated at USD 36.65 million.
As far back as 2013, the loan agreements regarding the said project were signed with OFI and BADEA on the 18th April and 19th May 2013 respectively.
The Saudi Fund is contributing USD 12million (45million Saudi Riyals) to the project, while OFI, BADEA and the Government of Sierra Leone have contributed USD 13million, USD 8million, USD 3, 650,000 respectively.
The Deputy Managing Director f the Saudi Fund refers to the signing as “a demonstration of the great interest the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has in supporting the sincere and continued efforts of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone in promoting the wellbeing and economic prosperity of the friendly people of Sierra Leone,” pointing out that the agreement will deepen the bilateral cooperation and enhance the good relations that exists between the two countries.
Minister Marah observed that the rehabilitation and expansion of Fourah Bay College is strategic in the sense that it will contribute to the enhancement of quality higher education through improved physical infrastructure of the college to create conducive and safe environment for learning.