Evaluating Progress: A Comparative Analysis of SLPP’s 2018 Manifesto Promises Versus Realized Outcomes in Macro-Economic Transformation of Sierra Leone.
By the Sierra Leone Live Team
Sierra Leone has always had a vibrant political atmosphere, and an important part of this democratic process is the fulfillment of electoral promises. A notable point of reference for measuring the success of a ruling party is its electoral manifesto. Today, we bring to you a comprehensive analysis comparing the New Direction 2018 Manifesto of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the list of achievements presented by the same party after five years in office.
This political and data analysis aims to evaluate how well the SLPP delivered on the promises in their 2018 manifesto. By using an unbiased approach, we aim to objectively assess the party’s performance in several areas, including macroeconomic management, domestic revenue mobilization, public expenditure management, public debt management, exchange rate management, and response to crises.
Sierra Leone Live will ask 25 questions to help citizens gauge whether the SLPP met its 2018 manifesto targets. This will enable citizens to take part in an informed discussion about the achievements of the SLPP government, providing a clear picture of the extent to which the administration fulfilled its promises.
Analyzing the two documents, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) made progress on several of the goals outlined in the 2018 New Direction Manifesto. Let’s go through the main areas outlined in the manifesto and the corresponding achievements in five years:
Manifesto: The goal was to increase domestic revenue from 11.1% of GDP to 20% of GDP within three years. Also, they aimed to review existing tax laws, enforce tax laws, and develop a more robust and transparent policy for granting duty waivers.
Achievements: SLPP made Progress, with the domestic revenue GDP ratio standing at 15.7% in 2021, which is not quite the 20% goal but certainly an improvement from the 11.1%. New revenue acts have been enacted, and they have made the tax collection process more transparent and digital.
Public Expenditure Management:
Manifesto: The plan was to evaluate and introduce reforms to strengthen public expenditure management, develop the capacity of the ministries, and reduce spending on the purchase and maintenance of government vehicles, among other actions.
Achievements: Several strategies have been implemented in line with the goals, such as the development of the Arrears Clearance Strategy and payroll reforms. They’ve also upgraded and expanded the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and developed a new standardized overseas travel policy. These changes show that they’ve taken measures to manage public spending more effectively.
Public Debt Management:
Manifesto: The goal was to introduce the practice of annual debt ceilings and to access concessional loans with low-interest rates and long grace periods, among other policies.
Achievements: The government seems to have maintained a sustainable approach to borrowing, ensuring that no more than 20% of the external resources mobilized were concessional loans. The medium-term debt management strategy was also updated, aligning with their initial objectives.
Exchange Rate Management:
Manifesto: The manifesto outlined goals to maintain a low, stable, and competitive exchange rate and to maintain single-digit inflation.
Achievements: The government mentioned it maintained a flexible exchange rate regime and intervened in the foreign exchange market to smoothen exchange rate volatility. However, there’s no explicit mention of the inflation rate in the achievement document, so it’s unclear if the single-digit inflation goal was achieved.
The New Direction manifesto outlined plans to establish strategic partnerships with cryptocurrency and crowdfunding platforms, but there’s no mention of this in the achievements document.
A notable achievement that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the manifesto is the implementation of monetary policy and the launch of the Switch for a cashless economy.
The manifesto also mentioned developing the capacity of local councils in revenue assessment and collection, but the achievements document doesn’t provide details on this.
Crises Response Measures: The 2018 manifesto did not directly address crisis response measures; however, the government showed its capacity to respond to crises in the achievements document. They instituted measures to ensure commodity supply, support the importation of essential goods, provide subsidies, support agriculture, and MSMEs, and provide cash transfers to vulnerable groups.
After a thorough analysis of the SLPP’s 2018 manifesto and its achievements after five years in office, it’s clear that the SLPP made some strides in certain areas. However, it’s also clear that some areas still require more focus and commitment. We hope that this comparison has provided you, the citizens of Sierra Leone, with a clearer understanding of the SLPP’s performance against their original commitments.
We would like to thank all Sierra Leone citizens for taking the time to delve into this survey. Your interest and engagement are essential for the growth and development of our nation. We are reminded that our democracy is strongest when our citizens are informed and engaged. It’s our hope that this analysis has provided you with useful insights and will encourage further discussion and engagement in our country’s democratic process. Thank you and let’s keep the conversation going.