Sierra Leone / by Michelle Ryan

Kandeh Yumkella, the presidential flag-bearer for the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, travelled to Nairobi, Kenya for the Expert Group Meeting and Workshop and also attended the 38th Energy Seminar in Oxford, United Kingdom. Sierra Leone’s internal affairs minister announced the death penalty would be utilised as punishment once again to curb gang violence. Female genital mutilation re-emerged despite it being banned during the Ebola outbreak. Brussels Airlines threatened to suspend its flights to Sierra Leone over security concerns. Two women were sentenced after pleading guilty to impersonating medical professionals, which highlighted the problems with Sierra Leone’s health care industry. Sierra Leone’s attorney general spoke out against the increased gang violence in the country and highlighted that a murder is reported on average once every two weeks in Freetown. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) undertook a mission to Sierra Leone and released a fairly positive report highlighting the economy’s upward trend, but indicated there were still a number of improvements to be made like controlling debt and increasing efficiency of public spending. Sierra Leone and the European Union (EU) signed a EUR 35 million deal to improve agriculture production, which is part of Sierra Leone’s Boosting Agriculture and Food Security programme. Sierra Leone’s energy minister complained the International Monetary Fund’s suggestions encouraged the government to increase the electricity tariff by 15 per cent and expressed concerns that the price of petrol will increase too much.

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