Sierra Leone scores high on the 2020 MCC scorecard but more needs to be done fast

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 November 2019:

Last Friday, president Julius Maada Bio received the latest report of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) into the government’s performance in managing the affairs of the country.

According to the report, which was presented to the president by Maria Brewer – the American ambassador to Sierra Leone, the government has performed quite well after just seventeen months in office.

Out of a total of twenty policy areas assessed by the MCC, the government passed eleven: Promoting Political Rights – 92%; Promoting Civil Liberties – 88%; Controlling Corruption – 79%; Putting Good Trade Policy in Place – 70%; Promoting Rule of Law – 58%; Promoting Freedom of Information – 85%; Promoting Gender in the economy – 61%; Spending on Healthcare – 68%; Investing in Primary Education – No data available prior to publication of the report but MCC gave the government a Pass; Promoting Business Start-Ups – 85%; Girls Primary Education completion Rate – 68%.

But the government is struggling in nine policy areas that need a lot of attention, in order to significantly improve its overall governance performance, especially in managing the economy where most households in the country are experiencing great difficulty in putting food on the table. (Photo above: President Bio discussing the MCC scores with Maria Brewer – American ambassador to Sierra Leone).

According to the MCC report, the government scored an appalling 4% on Fiscal Policy. Taxation in Sierra Leone is very high for both middle and higher income earners, as well as local businesses. This is bad for investments, job creation and employee productivity.

High government spending, especially on public sector salaries, and increasing borrowing, have also accounted for this very poor score, and needs immediate policy reset.

With the government struggling to stabilise the value of the Leone against foreign currencies, the impact on prices for goods and services in the country is being felt across the country, as the ministry of finance appears to be running out of ideas to control inflation.

As a result, the MCC has given the government 16.9% for all its efforts in controlling inflation.

In promoting high standards of Regulations in the country, the government scored 42%.

The government’s overall effectiveness in promoting justice was scored 40%, though it scored 58% in enforcing the rule of law, a sign perhaps of the massive delays in ensuring that court cases and election petition appeals are heard in a timely and fair manner.

In promoting Land Rights and access, the government is performing poorly with a score of 24%, after recent and continuing reported cases of unfair and heavy-handed approach by the Ministry of Lands and Housing, which at times appear to threaten the peace and stability of communities.

The government scored an appalling 19% in promoting access to credit finance – a significant driver of private sector investments, jobs and wealth creation.

The government must do more for indigenous businesses and local entrepreneurs, rather than relying on foreign investors.

In Protecting Sierra Leone’s Natural Resources, the government does not seem to have a clear policy or direction. The destruction of forest reserves for timber logging and the cutting down of trees to make way for new roads and building construction is having a massive impact on the environment, with catastrophic consequences such as flooding and destruction of the eco-system. The MCC report gave the government a score of 38% for its efforts.

For Rates of Immunisation across the country, the government scored 48%, and 21% for promoting Child Health respectively. This needs serious attention by the government.

It is pointless spending millions of dollars in promoting free quality education for primary school children, if their health is poor and survival rate from disease is low.

Responding to the findings of the MCC report and its scores, President Bio is reported to be broadly pleased with the government’s overall performance, given its relatively short time in office, but said that his government will do more to improve in those policy areas they are performing badly.

The government must up its game on the economy. If those employed to control inflation and stabilise the Leone against foreign currencies are struggling to succeed, then perhaps a change of leadership in the ministry of finance and the bank of Sierra Leone should be looked at by the president. There is no room for sentiments where the lives of citizens are at stake.

You can read the report here:

Sierra Leone MCC Scorecard 2020

5 Comments

  1. Mr Editor, This dislodging stage of our economy is not a rocket science, or anything of Einstein’s relativity theory. Rather, it stems from the unplanned implementation of the Government FREE education programme, which is not only unrewarding, but doomed from the outset as its ballooning cost is almost half of our national income.

    Government’s revenue sources are as small as our national boundaries – a situation that has implicitly compelled the national leadership to further hike the already very high direct and indirect taxes. As a result of the very high transportation cost, prices of everything else have flown sky high. Cost of living is almost unmanageable, and corruption is back on the menu as worker struggle to mend the cracks in their incomes. In all this, the ‘FLEECE’ education project is struggling in every sphere with poor teacher preparation, inadequate classrooms and other needy logistics to run schools and corrupt supervisory and monitoring schemes. I wonder where have the ‘Commotion of Inquiries’ aka commissions of inquiries gone.

  2. The reality is that the APC government which was the most corrupt government under the leadership of their lifetime leader and chairman Ernest Koroma, left our country under AUSTERITY because they were playing the cat and mouse game with the IMF hoping to win the 2018 election before implementing their conditions. The SLPP as winner of the election is still struggling with that problem because their was no other option left.

    Lending institutions are not charitable or sentimental. Once you sign an agreement you have to payback the money which was squandered by the APC – used for building mansions with well protected walls, building huge party office, driving expensive vehicles and saving most in foreign banks. It took them 10 years to destroy our nation and now they expect President Bio to perform a miracle to transform the economy in less than 2 years. They shared government land and properties among themselves and destroyed the environment. But now they expect the new direction government to wave the magic wand to reverse everything immediately.

    Hopefully our New Direction government will terminate the bogus mining contracts that the APC government signed just to benefit themselves instead of the citizens. Let’s pray that we will finally get credible investors, which will eventually change the economy through export of our minerals.

  3. Thank you,my brother Alimamy once again for such a brilliant,thought provoking,well written, comment. There is none,I have seen on this forum with an impeccable insight as yours. Indeed,you are gifted,blessed above,and beyond measure,dear brother…I am truly proud your efforts,”Lion that Rules the Den”…keep up,the good work,you are doing in the interest of Mama Sierra Leone…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  4. At times it is best to ignore some of the comments on this forum. It doesn’t mean that they have gained an advantage over you, even though that is the main objective of these comments. Don’t think of what they think of you, but what you think of yourself. They will never tell you how brilliant and ingenious you are; as long as you don’t sing the same songs. Most of the forumites who indulge in these activities, never come up with original ideas of their own … but very quick at criticising other people’s inputs. To a certain extent, they are just WINDBAGS. And it is best to overlook them.

    The last week had been clouded by a climate of confusion, probably to distract public attention front the fruitless and wasteful endeavours of the paratrooping President, Julius Maada Bio. It seems there is nothing to show for, after another misadventure in Sochi and Abu Dhabi. Even some of the articles don’t share the present topicality on the minds of the people.
    The question or topic should be about what the President brought home from his recent tour.

    The bare truth is, the ‘new direction’ SLPP government has lost all its ideas in propelling this sluggish ship towards the intended destination. But they are blindfolding the nation with the pretext of patriotism through the ACC and COI. After reading the recent Sierra Leone household survey, one would be tempted to say, ‘what the hell are these guys doing with the economy and the people’? But, by the time one thinks of an answer, an article about the great achievements of the ACC or COI will pop up! It is not that one doesn’t appreciate the efforts of the ACC and COI, though it would be counterproductive if these institutions are merely used as a vehicle to destabilise certain sections of the society. Is the gameplan designed to divide and rule?

    This wobbling ship needs to undertake some serious repairs. The government seems to deceive the nation by pretending to stand aloof, but a lot of cracks are now persistently visible to the people. This is evident from the recent fracas that took place at The Al Basharia mosque, when korthor Jalloh attempted to hijack the intended speech to the congregation, by the presidential aspirant of the main opposition APC party, Dr Samura Kamara. What about the unnecessary commotion at the election of the Student Union President at FBC, University of Sierra Leone? The great Sayedna … check it out.

  5. Indeed, the truth that has been whispered in secret behind closed doors,has finally been brought out in broad daylight for all to see. We don’t need to blow loud trumpets and beat noisy, annoying drums and cymbals to tell the world that this SLPP government is a disastrous, disgraceful failure. The MCC report above speaks volumes, clearly in that, regard already (lol). A lousy bunch of lazy, parading, masqueraders, that’s who they are – masters in the art of regression and failure; losers, totally overwhelmed by lack of skill, imagination and foresight (lmao). Hands down, a crappy list of men – an incompetent Finance minister, an armchair’Do Nothing’ Chief Minister, a Puppet VP and a lawless, erratic Minister of Lands – all of them dysfunctional, irrational and promoting policies resembling devices of torture, far worse than those of the cruelest hangman’s noose.

    The MCC report is right on the money! Bravo! Strange is it not, that unremorseful sadists, choking and strangling the innocent citizens of our nation, are ministers holding on to public office? (lol) What is to be happy about, Mr President, in shameful, degrading failure? Humiliation does not earn you respect, competence does.(lol) Priorities are not in order! No clear policies and strategies on how to protect, effectively manage, utilise and maximize our natural resources. None! And credit financing to help young businesses grow is totally lacking, a credible tax system is missing, borders are inefficient, government spending is extremely high and the Rule of Law is being frowned upon – Darn it! Failure,everywhere you look, up above, below, sideways, everywhere.(lol)…A damn Shame! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

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