Africa > West Africa > Sierra leone > Sierra Leone Outlook for 2015-17

Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Outlook for 2015-17

2015/10/06

The country (Sierra Leone) is situated in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia.  Land in Sierra Leone is coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east. Sierra Leonean land covers an area of 71740 km².

The climate is tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April).
Sierra Leonean(s) speak English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a initial language for 10% of the people but understood by 95%).

OVERVIEW

Prior to the Ebola outbreak which started in May 2014, the authorities in Sierra Leone had made considerable evolution since the end of the civil conflict. The outlook for the economy in the medium term, however, is unfavourable following the current EVD crisis. Preliminary analysis shows that economic increase has slowed down to 6.0% in 2014 compared to the original projection of 11.3%. GDP increase is projected to go as low as -2.5% in 2015 and the economy is projected to recover slightly reaching 2.8% in 2016. Inflation is revised upwards from 8.8% to 10% for 2014 and is projected at 9.4% and 8.3% for 2015 and 2016, respectively. The EVD crisis poses a great threat to macroeconomic stability, human development and poverty reduction.

Infrastructure deficiencies pose a critical threat to private-sector development although some evolution had been made in improving the business environment prior to the outbreak of EVD. Public deficit levels (domestic and external) remain sustainable but historically, public finances have been stressed as total revenue has consistently been lower than total spending. This has attendant implications on monetary policy and the external position, which had been improving prior to the EVD outbreak. Regarding regional integration, challenges remain in the free movement of people and capital across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nations but the situation had been improving in recent years until the advent of the emergency restrictions imposed in the wake of the EVD outbreak. Likewise, governance, gender, environment, and social indicators had been improving prior to the outbreak. Considerable effort needs to be exerted by government and development partners in implementing the emerging Post-Ebola Recovery Plan.

The spatial nexus in Sierra Leone is essentially rural/urban. The urban people has the lion’s share of services, assets and earned gain and is likely to bequeath additional to successor generations compared to the rural people. In 2010 the rural people was estimated to account for 62% of the in general people while urban was 38%. Freetown accounts for roughly 40% of the urban dwellers. There is no dedicated strategy for spatial inclusion in Sierra Leone but the essential elements of it are subsumed in the country’s medium-term plan, the Schedule for Prosperity (A4P 2013-2018).

Outlook for 2015-17

  • Prior to the Ebola (EVD) outbreak of May 2014, considerable evolution had been made since the end of the civil conflict but the economic outlook in the medium term is presently unfavourable.
  • Economic increase is expected to slow to 6.0% in 2014 as an result of Ebola (against an 11.3% projection) and it is projected to go as low as -2.5% in 2015 before reaching 2.8% in 2016.
  • The rural/urban people breakdown was 61.6% rural to 38.4% urban in 2010 with Freetown accounting for 40% of the urban people and regional development forming part of the country’s Schedule for Prosperity (A4P).
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