Sierra Leone

Fisheries is a top priority for the Government of Sierra Leone and President Bio is serious about reforming the marine sector

Following its brutal civil war, which ended in 2002, Sierra Leone was one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average life expectancy of just 41 years. During the decade that followed, the country took major strides to improve governance and was one of the most improved countries in the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance over the period.

In 2018, Sierra Leone elected a new President and consolidated its democratic gains with its third peaceful transition of power post-war. However, wider progress remains fragile, as the ongoing social and economic consequences of the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak and the collapse in demand for the country’s principal mineral exports have shown.  60% of people live below the national poverty line and only 41% of adults can read and write.

The speed and resilience of Sierra Leone’s development and poverty reduction journey will be determined - by the effectiveness of its government to deliver improved services and capitalise on its natural resources.

SL 2.jpg

Working together to run the Ebola 117 call centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone. 

Tony Blair is an old friend to us in Sierra Leone dating back to the days when he was Prime Minister. Indeed, he helped us at a time when we needed it most. It is gratifying to note that he and his team are still with us providing advice to deal with the many challenges that we face.”

Ernest Bai Koroma Former President of Sierra Leone

President Bio entered office with a clear vision of what he wants to deliver for Sierra Leone: free and quality education and a diversified economy. We are supporting him to turn it into tangible results.

Our team is working with the government to collect revenue needed to fund the education system and to apply technological solutions to improve its quality.  

We are also working with the government to properly plan its reform of the marine sector. Years of illegal, unregulated and under-reported fishing have threatened the livelihoods of 500,000 Sierra Leoneans working in the sector and hampered development of a sector with great economic potential.

Recognising that government services are delivered at the local, as well as national level, we now have a dedicated team supporting the Freetown City Mayor’s priorities to transform the capital.  This includes important flood mitigation efforts for Freetown’s 72 slums, improving solid waste management, and mobilising resources to deliver better services.

We are proud to have been partnering with the Government of Sierra Leone for over a decade.  Our work with the previous government focused on increasing access to health services, expanding energy access, and developing the private sector. When Sierra Leone’s deepest crisis for years struck in 2014, our team supported efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak. To deal with this shock, as well as the collapse in mineral exports, in the aftermath we supported the government to develop a Recovery Plan to restore basic services and stimulate economic growth.

President Bio entered office with a clear vision of what he wants to deliver for Sierra Leone: free and quality education and a diversified economy. We are supporting him to turn it into tangible results.

From 2015, we have helped the Delivery Unit coordinate and monitor the implementation of this plan with the Chief of Staff to the President, applying lessons learned from the crisis to assist the recovery. Working at the centre of government, we supported the Office of the President to strengthen cross-government coordination and performance management. Our team of embedded advisors has been working shoulder to shoulder within a range of line ministries, including:

  • The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, on its internal reform process, improving prudent fiscal policy and financial reform of the energy sector;
  • The Ministry of Energy, on increasing Sierra Leoneans’ access to electricity by improving distribution networks and sustainably increasing on- and off-grid generation capacity;
  • The Ministries of Trade and Agriculture, on improving the competitiveness of 1,000 small and medium sized businesses and creating 10,000 jobs by mid-2017 in key agricultural value chains; and
  • The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, on rolling out a national programme to improve maternal and child health through training and deploying 15,000 Community Health Workers nationwide.

On Wednesday 4th April 2018, a new President was sworn in, following Presidential elections.  President Julius Maada Bio is currently organising himself and his team to lead the country over a 5-year term and the Tony Blair Institute is in discussions about continuing our support to the government and people of Sierra Leone under the stewardship of the Bio Administration.