Sierra Leone has made significant strides to rebuild its public infrastructure after the devastating civil war, but the desperate infrastructure needs remain. At the end of the conflict in 2002, the country was left with virtually no infrastructure. Redevelopment of public infrastructure was ignited by the mining boom, which started in the late 2000s. Over the period 2008−18, public investment averaged 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which has translated into an estimated capital stock of about 65 percent in constant 2011 GDP. However, a level of public investment is still lower than neighboring countries by about one percentage point. The level of capital stock per capita is one of the lowest in the region, only slightly above that of Liberia. Some districts still have no paved roads, no electricity, and no water systems, almost 20 years after the war.
The Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development 2018 to 2023 (PAPD) is the second in the series of 5-year National Development Plans (NDP) anticipated under the Liberia Vision 2030 framework. It follows the Agenda for Transformation 2012-2017 (AfT). It is informed as well by lessons learned from the implementation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy 2007 (iPRS) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011). The fundamentals underpinning the PAPD are: i) Liberia is rich in human and natural resources; but ii) is deprived of development largely because its human capital lacks the knowledge to transform the natural resources into wealth—whether through farming, mining, fishing, or other productive ventures that require technology or financial investments. Consequently, Liberia is relatively rich in natural capital but relatively poor in relations to its peers in both human and produced capital. Moreover, because of a legacy of entrenched inequality in access to development opportunities, widespread infrastructure deficits and pervasive poverty have become the binding constraints to future growth and prosperity.
The Government of Sierra Leone’s new Medium-term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019–2023 has been founded on a strong political commitment to deliver devel-opment results that would improve the welfare of Sierra Leone’s citizens. The plan charts a clear path towards 2023 en route to the goal of achieving middle-income status by 2039 through inclusive growth that is sustainable and leaves no one behind. For the next five years, the Free Quality School Education Programme is the government’s flagship programme to provide a solid base to enhance human capital development and to facilitate the transformation of the economy.
This paper focuses on Liberia’s Third Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion (PC) and Modification of Performance Criteria. Real GDP grew at 8.7 percent in 2013 and is projected to decline to 5.9 percent in 2014 as mining production decelerates. Most end-December 2013 PCs and indicative targets (ITs) were met, except for the PC on government revenue and the IT on external borrowing. Four out of five structural benchmarks were met on time. The IMF staff supports the completion of the third ECF review.
The 2012 Article IV Consultation with Liberia discusses the economic developments and policies of the country. Liberia recorded strong macroeconomic performance under the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, but poverty continued to be pervasive. The short- to medium-term outlook has remained favorable, although subject to considerable risks. Following resumption of iron ore exports in 2011, real GDP growth is estimated at 9 percent in 2012, supported by strong growth in the mining sector and expansionary fiscal policy for infrastructure investment. IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a successor arrangement under the ECF.
Matthew Gaertner, Ms. Laure Redifer, Pedro Conceição, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Jan Gottschalk, Mr. Andrew Berg, Ayodele F. Odusola, Mr. Brett E. House, and Mr. José Saúl Lizondo
The pace of progress toward achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) in many sub-Saharan African countries remains too slow to reach targets by 2015, despite significant progress in the late 1990s. The MDG Africa Steering Group, convened in September 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, designated 10 countries for pilot studies to investigate how existing national development plans would be impacted by scaled up development aid to Africa. This joint publication of the IMF and the United Nations Development Programme reports conclusions drawn from these pilot studies and summarizes country-specific results for Benin, the Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Sierra Leone, and Zambia.
After a period of economic slowdown, the outlook for Sierra Leone appears more favorable. Development priorities and their financing while maintaining a competitive economy and a sustainable debt outlook will help. Structural reforms will focus on improving tax administration, strengthening public financial management, and deepening the financial sector. A key constraint to economic growth in the medium term is the lack of basic infrastructure. Executive Directors support the request to modify the target on net domestic bank credit to the government.
This paper argues that sub-Saharan Africa’s growth performance needs to be improved substantially in order to raise standards of living to an acceptable level and achieve a visible reduction in poverty. The paper provides a broad overview of the explanations for sub-Saharan Africa’s unsatisfactory growth performance in the past, paying particular attention to the empirical literature. It argues that growth has been hampered by economic distortions and institutional deficiencies that have increased the risk of investing in Africa, and lowered the rates of return on capital and labor as well as the growth of total factor productivity.
Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Mr. John B. McLenaghan, and Mr. Klaus-Walter Riechel
One of the principal aims of the effort to integrate the economies of the 16 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to expand intra-Community trade. This objective is to be achieved partly through the elimination of quantitive and other restrictions on trade.