Real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 was 7.1%, and 1.0% excluding iron ore production, compared to the pre-Ebola forecast of 11.3% and 6%. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) adversely affected several sectors of the economy, coupled with the closure of the mining sector due to decline in international market prices.
Prospects for 2015 are uncertain being dependent on EVD containment and resumption of iron ore production, real GDP expected to contract by between 13% and 24%, depending on iron ore production, with the non-iron ore economy shrinking by 1 percent.
Moreover, the recent suspension of production by Addax Bioenergy has also added to the contraction in the economy over the second half. The economy is now projected to contract by a very substantial 24% in 2015. The effects of iron ore related closures and that of Addax could have devastating consequences on jobs and by extension families.
Over the first half of 2015 fiscal flows have been kept relatively stable and maintained below IMF program parameters.
Expenditures have been contained over the first half of 2015, but this has been achieved in part through the banking of commitments leading up to the end of the first half.
The deterioration in mineral exports and higher imports in 2015 is likely to impact adversely on the trade balance for 2015 with a sharp reduction in the March quarter already evident.
On November 2012 President Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People's Congress (APC) was re-elected as President of Sierra Leone. Almost three years into his second term, Sierra Leone’s democracy was tested in relation to the constitutionality of the sacking of the Vice President and the appointment of a new one. And the Supreme Court ruled that the President has the constitutional powers to do so, to mixed reaction from the public.
The next three years will be defining for the country as it reviews its 24 year-old 1991 Constitution, conducts a national population and housing census, and holds Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Until the outbreak of Ebola in May 2014, Sierra Leone was seeking to become a transformed nation with middle-income status, but the country still carries its post-conflict attributes of high youth unemployment, corruption and weak national cohesion. The country continues to face the daunting challenge of enhancing transparency in managing its natural resources and fiscal policy. Problems of poor infrastructure and widespread rural and urban impoverishment still persist in spite of remarkable strides and reforms.
Sierra Leone’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) database, hosted by the World Bank, was updated in July 2014. The CPIA summarizes the country’s development challenges.
Last Updated: Oct 05, 2015