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AfDB launches Development Effectiveness Review 2015 on Sierra Leone

December 11, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Wednesday, 9 December launched its Development Effectiveness Review 2015 for Sierra Leone in Freetown. The review provides a comprehensive report on the Bank’s performance in the country and tracks how its operations have contributed to Sierra Leone’s development results. The review also assesses how the Bank has performed in Sierra Leone.

The publication shows Sierra Leone’s achievements over its post-conflict transition. “Sierra Leone is a success story among states emerging from serious conflict. Since the conflict ended in 2002, it has successfully embarked on a peace-building and state-building agenda, re-establishing democratic government and institutions, conducting three successful elections and managing peaceful political transitions,” said Janvier Litse, AfDB Acting Vice-President of Operations, in charge of Country and Regional Programmes.

Sierra Leone’s economic growth over the past five years has been remarkable, averaging 8% and reaching 20.1% in 2013. Over the past ten years, the poverty ratio has fallen from 66% to 53% – an important result, but one that masks significant inequality between urban and rural areas. Unfortunately, the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and the dramatic fall in iron ore prices have reversed this positive growth trajectory with a 21.5% contraction of economic output anticipated in 2015.

The Bank has supported Sierra Leone’s national priorities of promoting peace, stability and economic development in the years since the civil war. The country programme was put on hold during the conflict from 1991 to 2002, but since the end of the conflict, the Bank has supported Sierra Leone in its journey of recovery, helping to rebuild state institutions, restore basic services and promote growth and employment.

Overall, AfDB has contributed US $350 million in grants and concessional lending between 2005 and 2014. This year, the Bank responded quickly and flexibly to the Ebola crisis, providing $60 million as part of a wider regional package of US$223 million.

Sierra Leone has made remarkable progress in consolidating a peaceful democracy and moving from post-war humanitarian support and reconstruction towards laying the foundation for long-term inclusive growth. However, serious drivers of fragility still remain. The Bank remains committed to supporting Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola recovery and building the country’s resilience, to help it achieve the ambitious goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2035 as set out in the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity, says the review.

The report launch was hosted by the Bank’s Resident Representative in Sierra Leone, Yero Baldeh, and included a keynote address by Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kaifala Marah.

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