Sierra Leone made news earlier this year as officials boasted of a 32 per cent jump in GDP growth, buoyed by iron ore exports. But don’t break out the local ginger beer just yet.
IMF officials are bracing for see lower-than-expected GDP growth in 2012, as production estimates from African Minerals have been revised downward, according to the Fund’s representative Francis Kumah.
When Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Resources Unit (PRU) named provisional winners of eight offshore oil blocks last month, it teamed various bidders together for four of the blocks, telling them to move forward as partners in negotiations. The companies had no say in the matter.
“It is like a forced marriage,” said Adekunle King, legal officer for the PRU. Read more
It’s rainy season in Sierra Leone, but officials here aren’t at all gloomy when it comes to economic forecasts.
The country’s GDP is expected to grow by a sky-high 32.5 per cent in 2012. That’s revised down a few notches from the 35.9 per cent reported by the IMF earlier this year. However, growth might be a bit more down-to-earth in 2013. Read more
West Africa’s mobile phone and data markets are often seen as bright spots in otherwise turbulent economies. But a top regulator in the region says there are still many issues to address before declaring victory in modernising the sector.
Governments, operators and investors need to move beyond the “euphoria” of high penetration rates and realise that ICT (information and communications technology) is about more than having a mobile phone, says Nnamdi Nwokike, executive secretary of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (Watra). Read more
A random assortment of dark wood desks and chairs crowd the room. The tatty carpet is no longer glamorous but it is still just about red. A big-handled bell sits on a centre table.
Welcome to the Sierra Leone Stock Exchange. Number of stocks traded: one. Read more
Sierra Leone has come a long way since its civil war ended in 2001. The resumption of iron ore exports, more than 30 years after the industry collapsed, an increase in diamond production and a budding tourism sector are all contibuting to a new-found stability. Katrina Manson reports.