Last year Sierra Leone passed the Control of Corruption criteria with a score of 0.03 points (53%) above the median but missed it this year at a score of 0.01 points (49%) below the median. However, this is not an indication of a retrogression on the fight against corruption because according to the Assessors, World Bank, the slight drop in the raw score (from -0.79 to -0.81) for Sierra Leone is well within the errors of margin (0.14) for 2016.
The recent upshot shows a 40 percent increase in the Country’s performance in the FY2018 Scorecard when compared with FY2017 where Sierra Leone managed to pass only 6 out of 20 indicators.
The newly deployed US Ambassador said about Sierra Leone, Maria Brewer said: “I congratulate the Government of Sierra Leone on its dramatic increase in the number of indicators passed in this recent scorecard. This result is the testament to the hard work and dedication of the Government of Sierra Leone to making these key improvements, which will ultimately benefit the lives of all Sierra Leoneans. We encourage the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to strengthen their efforts in all of these areas, particularly the commitment to good governance, rule of law, and combating the scourge of corruption. We continue to work together on a US$44 million Threshold Program, and look forward to our continued successful partnership.”
Over the past five years only two other countries, Cote d’Ivoire (FY 2013 to FY 2014) and Sao Tome and Principe (FY 2016 to FY 2017) have had a similar drastic increase in newly passed indicators in a one year period when a comparison is done of all lower income category countries.
The Government of Sierra Leone’s climb on the scorecard is a reflection of measured efforts to put Sierra Leone on the path to Compact eligibility. Actions were intensified by responsible MDAs (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Justice) to collect data and pass relevant laws and policies in a bid to engender a sustainable and lasting improvement on the scorecard. The scorecard is evidence of Sierra Leone’s commitment to investing in its citizens, economic freedom and rule of law. Moreover, these 20 factors measured on the scorecard are a litmus test of the health of the economy, and this examination has shown a marked improvement for Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone should be applauded for this feat especially in the post Ebola and landslide framework because it reflects that the country is indeed on the path of recovery. While Sierra Leone is not Compact eligible this year, there is high optimism that Sierra Leone within the period of the Threshold program which will end in 2020, can achieve a Compact. The successful implementation of the $44.4 million Threshold program and passing the scorecard will be essential to achieving Compact eligibility for Sierra Leone. It should be noted that a country cannot have a concurrent Compact and Threshold program. Currently, implementation of the Threshold program is on track with four major contracts for support to Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC), Electricity Distribution and Supply Agency (EDSA), Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) and Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) being implemented. The people and Government of Sierra Leone should be proud of this accomplishment but also be inspired to redouble efforts to ensure Compact eligibility by the expiration of the Threshold Period.