Progress Assessment: A Comparative Analysis of the SLPP’s ‘New Direction’ Manifesto and its Achievements in Developing Sierra Leone’s Private Sector (2018-2023)

SLL Audio News
SLL Audio News
Progress Assessment: A Comparative Analysis of the SLPP's 'New Direction' Manifesto and its Achievements in Developing Sierra Leone's Private Sector (2018-2023)

Progress Assessment: A Comparative Analysis of the SLPP’s ‘New Direction’ Manifesto and its Achievements in Developing Sierra Leone’s Private Sector (2018-2023)

By the Sierra Leone Live Team

Greetings, citizens of Sierra Leone.

As an engaged and proactive community, it is our responsibility to assess the progress and performance of our governing body. Here, we’re taking a detailed look at the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), specifically focusing on its 2018 manifesto promises related to developing the private sector.

In 2018, the SLPP presented a manifesto titled “New Direction”, which contained an outline of ambitious plans and objectives designed to stimulate the private sector’s growth and development. It encapsulated this in a series of strategic initiatives laid out on page 14 of the manifesto. As the government now completes its five-year tenure, it is a pertinent time to revisit those commitments and gauge the degree to which they have met them.

Sierra Leone Live has crafted a series of 25 questions based on these manifesto promises. These questions are aimed at fostering an understanding among citizens about the achievements and potential shortcomings of the SLPP government regarding their private sector development goals.

  1. Increasing Access to Finance:

    Manifesto Promise: The government intended to introduce a partial guarantee scheme, strengthen the regulatory framework for Micro-finance Institutions, expand mobile technology for credit access and repayment, re-establish National Development Banks, and establish a fund to provide access to medium and long-term capital for SMEs.

    Achievements: The provided achievements report doesn’t detail specific accomplishments related to these promises, but it mentions that a credit facility of Le40 billion was provided to over 7,000 beneficiaries through the MUNAFA Fund. It is unclear whether this aligns with the outlined manifesto promises, as we lack specifics on the type and scope of the credit facility.

  2. Reducing the Cost and Risk of Doing Business:

    Manifesto Promise: The SLPP committed to review and modernize business laws and policies, deregulate the investment climate, establish a One-Stop-Shop (OSS) for business registration, implement a land policy, review licensing procedures, and capacitate fast track commercial courts for dispute resolution.

    Achievements: The government established the National Investment Board as a one-stop-shop, which can be seen as a realization of the OSS promise. They also formulated several national policies, including the National Agribusiness Policy and Strategy, National Trade Strategy, National Cooperative Policy, Industrial Development, and Special Economic Zone Policy, and enacted the Consumer Protection Act 2020, which potentially addresses some of the regulatory and policy-related promises. However, there are no explicit mentions of specific changes to labour laws, land policies, or licensing procedures.

  3. Promoting Local Entrepreneurship:

    Manifesto Promise: The SLPP proposed to establish a Presidential Initiative on local entrepreneurship and social enterprise, continue supporting business plan competitions, invest in entrepreneurial skills training, develop the capacity of business organizations, and review and implement the Local Content Act.

    Achievements: While there’s no explicit mention of a Presidential Initiative or continuation of business plan competitions, the government provided capacity building and cash support to over 200 private sector players in the agro-processing space, potentially touching upon the promise of capacity building for business organizations. However, no information is provided on implementing the Local Content Act.

  4. Capacity Building:

    Manifesto Promise: The government planned to enhance its capacity in project identification and trade negotiations, create a forum for engaging the private sector, strengthen the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), and deliver priority programmes aligning with international conventions.

    Achievements: There’s evidence of capacity building and trade negotiation enhancement as the government negotiated several bilateral and international trade agreements, including with the US’s AGOA, ECOWAS, and AfCFTA. Establishing the National Investment Board indirectly strengthens the investment facilitation infrastructure, potentially fulfilling the promise to strengthen SLIEPA.

  5. Developing the Infrastructure:

    Manifesto Promise: The SLPP aimed to develop a framework for road prioritization based on investment potential, improve electricity supply, and re-establish a special industrial zone with uninterrupted utilities to attract investment.

    Achievements: The achievements report mentions the launch of the Koya Industrial Zone with the potential for at least 10 factories, which aligns with the promise of establishing an industrial zone. However, there’s no information about improvements to the electricity supply or the development of a road prioritization framework.

As we conclude our comparison and analysis, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to you, the citizens of Sierra Leone, for participating in this review process. Your engagement and awareness are crucial for holding our leaders accountable and ensuring the continued growth and development of our beloved nation.

This process of examination does not end here. We must continue to be aware and informed about our government’s performance. Remember, our collective action and shared responsibility are the bedrock of a vibrant and progressive democracy.

Thank you once again for taking the time to look into this survey, and let’s continue to strive for a prosperous Sierra Leone together.

Here are the 25 Questions

Previous articleEvaluating Promises: 25 Critical Questions on the SLPP’s Manifesto Commitments to Develop Sierra Leone’s Private Sector
Next articleCharting Fiscal Progress: 25 Essential Questions on the SLPP’s 2018 Manifesto Initiatives for Strengthening the Financial Sector
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments