Sierra Leone’s economy is in tatters. IMF withdraws funding. A few months ago, the Sierra Leone Telegraph published a story about the declining performance of the Sierra Leone economy. It warned that the government is in serious paralysis, as funds meant to support economic growth were being siphoned by ruling APC officials to pay for election campaign.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph report also said that: “Key government officials and ministers – including the president, have in the last six months taken their eyes off the economy to focus on their political survival. The Koroma government has lost control of the economy. “ (Photo: President Koroma out campaigning with his party’s presidential candidate – the former finance minister Samura Kamara, who is being blamed for the country’s economic mess).
“It seems the only job at State House now, is the packaging and selling of the president’s chosen candidates for the presidency and vice presidency at next year’s elections – Messrs Samura Kamara and Chernoh Bah, whose unpopularity has become a huge headache for ruling party rank and file members – who are deeply unhappy about the president’s unilateral imposition of their candidacy.
“Sierra Leone’s economy is in dire straits. Inflation is rising much faster than expected. Basic food prices – such as rice and cooking oil have gone up by almost 30% in the last six months. The government is struggling to pay the salaries of public sector workers.
“There is serious political tension in the streets. Investor confidence is at an all-time low. World Bank and IMF funding have been frozen until after the elections in March 2018, following allegations that ruling APC government officials are misappropriating and siphoning public funds to pay for their political campaigns.
“The value of the Leone to the dollar and sterling is declining fast. The country is importing far more than it is exporting. With its continuing reliance on falling international aid and meagre mining export revenue for its survival, the Koroma government is struggling to meet its basic financial commitments as foreign aid is cut by almost 60%”, the Sierra Leone Telegraph reported in November 2017.
And in March 2017, the Sierra Leone Telegraph also published these statements:
“The economy of Sierra Leone is going through its toughest phase, since the end of the Ebola epidemic. The government has run out of cash – donor funds have declined massively, inflation is rising out of control, unemployment remains chronically high, taxation base has declined, public sector workers are going without pay, public services are facing huge financial constraints, and government contractors are not getting paid.