When Sierra Leone’s president-cum-business executive Ernest Bai Koroma took office in 2007, he told the world that he would run the country like a business. Holding to his bold promise, he outlined Sierra Leone’s trajectory in the Agenda for Change. Through this strategic plan Sierra Leone entered a new stage of reform to create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign businesses. Two years later, Tony Blair spoke to the Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Forum in London saying, “Sierra Leone has been through many years of stability and successive democratic change and made significant changes in its laws, its attitude, and posture toward business.”
Though it is still among the top ten poorest countries in the world, Sierra Leone is climbing up the ranks of the World Bank’s Doing Business report, jumping nine spots since last year. In May 2011, Sierra Leone celebrated a development milestone by opening First Step, Africa’s first American owned and operated Special Economic Zone
Just as this month’s On Entrepreneurship column advises, Sierra Leone’s private sector is working to wean the country wean off of aid and onto dignity and growth.
For this edition of Marketplace, ISOKO has aggregated the best of the web to tell Sierra Leone’s story of reform. Featured alongside Dawson’s column is an overview and analysis of Sierra Leone’s reform program from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Additionally, the “In The News” section includes two short videos on the country’s progress with articles on the country’s business-minded president, Tony Blair’s engagement, and the implementation of the new Special Economic Zone.
This edition celebrates another entrepreneurial country that is leading the way to a prosperous Africa.