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A New Direction for Improving People’s Lives through Education, Inclusive Growth, and Building a Resilient Economy
Sierra Leone’s National Development Plan is a compilation of the various components of the development agenda mapped out as a nation for the immediate and long-term goals of our development aspirations. It outlines the vision of my Government. It underlies Sierra Leone’s determination and commitment to transform her country from a fragile state into a stable and prosperous democracy. The New Direction Government consulted at least two million people directly, both locally and internationally, over a period of seven months. We got unprecedented participation from our development partners, government institutions, local communities, the private sector, civil society, and the community of persons with disabilities, local councils, and members of the Government, the civil service, local councils, non-state actors, the international community, trade unions, all political parties, Parliament, academia, and many more constituents.
Respondents identified and discussed what they perceive as critical for the immediate and long-term development of the country. The plan therefore captures the aspirations of a broad spectrum of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad.
The Key Priorities
Human capital development
Systemic country diagnostic studies suggest that Sierra Leone could only sustainably transform its economy and achieve middle-income status with optimal poverty reduction
if the government adequately invests in the country’s human capital. Beyond its natural
resources, the nation’s most substantial asset is its young and dynamic population, which, like natural resources, must be properly developed to deliver shared economic growth and meaningful poverty reduction and prosperity for all.
Under this policy cluster, the Government of Sierra Leone will focus on the following broad result areas:
1. Ensuring free quality basic and senior secondary education; (a) Strengthening
tertiary and higher education; (b) Accelerating health-care delivery; (c) Enhancing environmental sanitation and hygiene; (d) Increasing social protection; and (e) Advancing housing and land management.
Diversifying the economy and promoting growth
To effectively transform the economy, ensure increased domestic financing of programmes, and build resilience against external shocks, the government is committed to economic diversification. Promoting productivity and capturing more of the value chain of its products underscores the strategy in this policy cluster. A case in point is agriculture, which
accounts for about 50 percent of GDP; however, productivity in the sector has been low.
In the case of mining, while labour productivity is relatively high, the capacity to generate
jobs and the sector’s linkage to the rest of the economy has been limited.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following broad result areas: (a) Improving productivity and commercialization of the agricultural sector; (b) Improving productivity and sustainable management of fisheries and the marine sector; (c) Revitalizing the tourism sector; (d) Revamping the manufacturing and services sector; (e) Improving the management of oil and gas exploration and production; (f) Improving the management of mineral resources; and (g) Promoting an inclusive rural economy.
Infrastructure and economic competitiveness
Promoting infrastructure and economic competitiveness is another critical enabler of socio-economic development and transformation. Here the role of the private sector is crucial, hence the emphasis on private sector promotion.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following broad result areas:
(a) Accelerating the provision of energy supplies; (b) Transforming the transportation systems; (c) Improving the water infrastructure systems; (d) Improving information and communication technologies; and (e) Fostering private sector growth.
Productive Governance and accountability
This cluster is a leading precondition for the effective and efficient delivery of the planned outcomes in the new Mid Term National Development Plan (MTNDP). That is, achieving the desired results for Sierra Leonean society can only be guaranteed if the state is able to secure the requisite political buy-in and commitment and apply fairly the appropriate legal and regulatory institutions and property rights as part of enforcing the rule of law. Success will require the active participation of grass-roots communities and the general public.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following broad result areas: (a) Advancing political development for national cohesion; (b) Fighting corruption and illicit financial flows; (c) Strengthening public financial management; (d) Strengthening audit services; (e) Promoting inclusive and accountable justice institutions; (f) Building public trust in state institutions; (g) Strengthening public service delivery; (h) Strengthening decentralization, local governance, and rural development; (i) Strengthening security institutions; and (j) Strengthening external relations for integration.
Empowering women, children, adolescents, and persons with disability
The aim is to pursue special policies recognising the issues of gender inequities and the role of vulnerable groups in guaranteeing inclusiveness and empowerment. This cannot be overemphasized, as women constitute more than 50 percent of the national population, while the need for adequate investment in children from pre-primary onward has become more crucial than ever, given the weak state of human capital development and fluctuating economic growth in the country. Low investment in the talents and capabilities of persons with disability can also lead to an inability to unleash the potential of the economy for inclusive development.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following broad result areas: (a)
empowering women; (b) Increasing investment in children and adolescents; and (c) Increasing investment in persons with disabilities.
Youth employment sports and migration
Sierra Leone has a youthful population (the population below 15 years of age is estimated at 42 percent), and providing adequate employment and other socio-economic opportunities has become ever more crucial. Livelihood difficulties and high rates of unemployment have resulted in increased migration from rural to urban areas, as well as from urban areas to other countries.
Sporting activities, which have been neglected for years, present opportunities for creating
jobs, sustaining peace, and building social and national cohesion, hence curtailing migration.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following result areas: (a) Increasing youth employment and empowerment; (b) Revitalizing sporting activities across the country; and (c) Addressing migration challenges.
Addressing vulnerabilities and building resilience
Sierra Leone experienced recurring environmental disasters and viral tragedies during the last five years, with telling macroeconomic and general development consequences. This suggests the need to rethink public policy regarding management of the environment and natural resources and strengthening disaster early warning and response systems for minimized vulnerabilities and increased national resilience.
Under this policy cluster, the government will focus on the following broad result areas: (a) Building national environmental resilience; (b) Strengthening forest management and wetland conservation; and (c) Improving disaster management governance.
Means of implementation
This cluster presents the mechanisms set to deliver the results of the MTNDP. As an
improvement on the implementation arrangement for previous plans, and drawing lessons
from earlier plans, this new plan benchmarks the arrangements for delivering results in a
comprehensive indicator-based results framework and policy matrix.
Three sets of issues are presented under this policy cluster: financing the plan; the governance arrangements for supervising and monitoring plan implementation; and the projects and policy measures to be carried out.
The specific actions and mechanisms are as follows:
- delivering robust governance structures for supervising plan implementation (including the establishment of a Ministerial Oversight Committee; sustaining government–donor dialogue; and
- revitalizing Sector Working Groups and District Working Groups); pursuing a sound resource mobilization strategy (including enhancing domestic resource mobilization; strengthening relationships with existing development partners and expanding the partner base; exploring public–private partnerships and dialogue; and pursuing assistance under the Millennium Challenge Corporation);
- mitigating risks; instituting a robust monitoring and evaluation and performance management system that is underpinned by a comprehensive indicator framework and policy/programme matrix aligned to the indicators and targets of the SDGs and the African Union Agenda 2063; and strengthening data, information, and statistical systems.
TO SEE THE FULL MTNDP REPORT CLICK HERE