It was recently announced by the Anti Corruption Committee that Sierra Leone has improved its Corruption indicator on the 2019 Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard. While this improvement is great and commendable, if you look at the entire MCC scorecard however you will find that Sierra Leone is still much in the red and failed. What does it mean when Sierra Leone fails this scorecard? It means Sierra Leone will not be eligible for grants that the MCC offers to countries that pass this scorecard. Grants which can be used for beneficial economic, social and developmental programs in Sierra Leone. For example through the MCC there was a youth internship program launched in Ghana and other countries are looking to implement this program as well to develop the skills of their youth. Sierra Leone would not be able to benefit from this program.
Why can Ghana implement this program and Sierra Leone cannot? Here is Ghana’s 2019 scorecard. The difference to Sierra Leone’s scorecard is immediately apparent. And while Ghana has not had to deal with the civil war, epidemics and other issues which has plagued Sierra Leone and interrupted progress, we should certainly aspire to improve our scorecard and do so by the next fiscal year MCC scorecard so that we pass and not fail.
If we can drastically improve our Control of Corruption score from 49 percent to 71 percent, could we do the same with some if not all of these other scorecard indicators? We believe so.
So again below is Sierra Leone’s MCC scorecard. High inflation which as of September 2018 our inflation rate was even higher than 18%. You would know this if you happen to come across our infographic on minimum wages and inflation in Sierra Leone. Land and access rights is also poor, not to talk of our Investing in People metrics which are paltry.
But all is not lost. With the new administration’s “New Direction” manifesto we can already think of policy that will address some of these areas. Policy such as the Free Education policy for example might improve some indicators in our Investment in People metrics. If this government performs well our government effectiveness indicator might also improve.
But what about the high inflation and access to credit indicators? We seriously hope that the Finance, Social and Economic ministries are looking at this scorecard and the Doing Business Rankings and looking for ways to address the areas for improvement as applicable to their ministry. Or considering how their planned programs and initiatives will cover these areas.
It is very important that these indicators are looked into not only so that we can qualified for aids or grant; but so that the quality of living in Sierra Leone can improve.