From Awareness Times
The Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) has in a press release press statement, explained its operations in Sierra Leone.
According to the statement, Africa Governance Initiative work in Sierra Leone began in 2008; a year after President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in free and fair elections. The election was an important moment for Sierra Leone, emerging from a decade of conflict, highlighting the increasing stability of the country through its first peaceful transfer of power between political parties. After the conflict, Sierra Leone was classed as one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked near the bottom of the UN’s Human Development Index and with a life expectancy of just 41 years. Yet in the words of many commentators, including the President himself, Sierra Leone had “no business being poor” – with a tradition of academic achievement, openness and tolerance combined with world-class agricultural, touristic, marine and mineral resources which have the potential to underpin a dynamic economy.
In recent years, Sierra Leone has taken great strides towards a brighter future, and is projecting a more positive image to the world. In the past decade, the country has seen the second fastest improvements in the world on the UN Human Development Index. In the same period, it made the third largest improvement in governance of any country in Africa, according to the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. In 2010, Sierra Leone was ranked in the top 25 in the world by the World Bank for overall improvement in ease of doing business over the last five years, and was praised for its investor protection reforms and administrative tax compliance reforms.
Of course, each of these statistics also shows that there is still a long way to go. The powerful progress achieved so far is fragile, and accelerating Sierra Leone’s reconstruction by meeting the President’s goals on private sector growth, energy, infrastructure, healthcare and agriculture will be challenging, requiring significant change in the government’s ability to set and deliver its priorities, as well as tackling deep and underlying issues like corruption. But in a region with a troubled past, Sierra Leone is increasingly seen as an example which could spread stability to its neighbors in the way civil war once seeped into Sierra Leone.
Read more. at Awareness Times
A team of 8-10 AGI staff have been on the ground in Sierra Leone since we launched our program in October 2008, providing support in key government institutions, including the Office of the President, Sierra Leone’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) and the Ministries of Agriculture and Health.