Why Sierra Leone’s Economy is in Such a Heartbreaking State

The 2019 Economic Freedom of the World report (EFW), which measures the economic progress of a country by considering factors such as the ease of doing business and taxation, ranks Sierra Leone 42 among 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sierra Leone’s 47.5 score is well below the regional and world averages and this puts it in the lower quartile on the ranking (167 among 180 countries). But things did not turn bad for Sierra Leone overnight.

In the last two years, the country has been categorized as an economically-repressed country because it practices protectionist economic policies that support restricting imports from other countries through measures like high tariffs or embargo. Moreso, with a steep plunge in fiscal health and lower scores for labor freedom–a measure that considers a country’s labor market, minimum wages and regulatory restraints on hiring, Sierra Leone has remained at the bottom of the economic freedom index. Its economy did, however, once showed progress, especially at the end of the 2002 Civil War. The economy recovered with a GDP growth rate that topped 7 percent and the value of the country’s currency became stronger…

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