Working with our local partners following the Ebola Crisis, Frontier Horizons is helping clients operate safely and efficiently within Sierra Leone. We are providing comprehensive risk assessments, due diligence, tracking support, and security training to facilitate setting up and operating in the country. We are also able to advise on Maritime Security in Sierra Leone.
Population 6,717,298 (2017)
RECENT TERRITORY UPDATES
Sierra Leone President Koroma hosted Gambian President Adam Barrow and the two leaders discussed their commitment to upholding democracy in the region. Samuel Sam-Sumana, the former vice president of Sierra Leone, returned to the country. Sam-Sumana is a controversial political figure, having been involved in the ‘Timbergate affair.’ Sierra Leone’s parliament voted against bills that would have legitimised the electoral registration and boundary changing process that began earlier this year in preparation for next year’s general election. Armed soldiers surrounded and entered a police station to free a senior military official who had been arrested and held in custody. The World Health Organisation confirmed a case of monkeypox virus, which is the third known case of the virus in Sierra Leone. A joint effort by Greenpeace and Sierra Leone fishery authorities found four illegal fishing cases. The United Nations Office for Project Services held training events for solar energy companies. Sierra Leone’s only privately owned indigenous bank negotiated a US$6 million line of credit from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, a multilateral development financial institution. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund announced they expect most sub-Saharan African countries to grow by around 2.5 per cent in 2017.
Sierra Leone’s electoral commission began registering voters for the March 2018 elections and are using biometric registration machines to allow registration to be secure and efficient. Sierra Leone’s ambassador to China resigned and highlighted the agreements signed between the two countries in December 2016 that will support cooperation in health, finance, and diplomacy. A 706-carat diamond was found in the Kono region in Sierra Leone and the government will hold a transparent auction for it and use the proceeds to benefit the community and country. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation officially received a mobile diagnostic laboratory from the United States (US), which is part of the US’ work to support Sierra Leone against future health crises. Lassa fever, an acute viral haemorrhagic illness, has been confirmed in Sierra Leone and other African countries. The Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus began a study to test potential vaccines for Ebola in February 2015 and recently expanded to Guinea and announced it will include Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s economy was reported to be struggling the most since the Ebola crisis. The International Monetary Fund completed a two-week visit to Sierra Leone and discussed an Extended Credit Facility arrangement, which helps countries with drawn- out balance of payment problems. KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, resumed flights to Sierra Leone after 21 years.
Sierra Leonean President Koroma undertook a trip to China to thank the country for its help during the Ebola crisis, to discuss continued cooperation in areas like infrastructure and mining, and potential cooperation in areas like public health and tourism. Sylvia Blyden, the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs announced she would implement new standards for transparency, openness, and accountability by keeping a log of her daily activities. Successful trials for an Ebola vaccine were concluded and international organisations and scientists are optimistic this breakthrough will help protect against a future crisis. Sierra Leone’s dry season began in December, which marked the start of increased availability of food for households and employment opportunities for farm labourers. The National Nutrition Survey data showed that almost 30 per cent of children under the age of five have stunted growth and over 10 per cent of those children are underweight in Sierra Leone. Sylvia Blyden said that 60 per cent of Sierra Leone’s women live in rural areas and she announced plans she and President Koroma have to help alleviate the problems these women face in areas like education and agriculture. The International Monetary Fund finished its review of Sierra Leone’s economic performance and found that the country required additional funds, but that the economy performed reasonably well. Raymond Kai Gbekie, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), won the CEO award for 2016. SLIEPA is responsible for promoting and creating foreign and domestic investment opportunities. Kaifala Marah, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, launched the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion 2017-2020 with objectives of making financial services affordable and available to all Sierra Leoneans and businesses, to advance financial literacy, and more.
Sierra Leone’s ambassador to China met with the Chinese ambassador to Sierra Leone to discuss points of cooperation and development. A new project funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development to facilitate the transition and increase completion rates of girls in secondary school. It will address security issues girls face in getting to school and will help them get back to school after leaving. Since schools have re-opened after the Ebola crisis, a number of students have tried to return to complete their educations. However, girls who became pregnant during the hiatus are facing obstacles and discrimination. Parliament approved over $150 million for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The National Polio Round Four Campaign began, which will target children under the age of five. Investigations began into a man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Wilberforce, a neighbourhood in Freetown. Bolloré Ports launched the Freetown Containers Terminal Extension Project, which will create a new, modern dock and will allow larger boats to come into the port. Sierra Leone is cutting government spending to combat economic issues the country is currently facing and will put a hold on new domestically financed capital projects. The European Union (EU) is suspected of planning to terminate its trade deal with countries like Sierra Leone and Nigeria over their failure to sign an economic partnership agreement.
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.