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International Growth Centre visits Sierra Leone

International Growth Centre visits Sierra Leone

A delegation from the International Growth Centre (IGC) recently visited Sierra Leone to conduct studies on the implementation of issues bordering on export promotion strategies, with the sole objective of uncovering challenges in the execution of the 2010 National Export Strategy (NES).

The team will also be looking at advice options most favourable to address the challenges, based on world-wide experience and frontier economic analysis.

An IGC meeting which took place May 16 – 24, 2011, was led by Marianna Belloc from the University of Rome and Michele Di Maio University of Naples.

The meeting brought together notable IGC’s officials such as Claudius Thomas who doubles as the Resident Representative, Rebecca Simson and Tom Coward as In-Country Economists.

The IGC Country Director for Sierra Leone, Dr. Omotunde E. G. Johnson, joined the mission in its last four days, as part of a two-week consultation process to discuss IGC ongoing work in Sierra Leone.

The mission held discussions with the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), the NES Implementation Committee – Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Mineral Resources and The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Bank of Sierra Leone, Commodity Monitoring and Marketing Unit, First Step Special Economic Zone, Sierra Fishing, the Chamber of Commerce and several prominent business leaders and business enterprises in country.

It is expected though that the visiting delegation will prepare full report few weeks from now.

In his part, Dr. Omotunde Johnson stated that in its preliminary discussions during the wrap-up session at SLIEPA, the mission noted among other things that to speedily facilitate implementation of the NES, there is need to improve certain capabilities in government and the private sector- definitions of the responsibilities of several institutions and a clear identification of objectives of existing programmes.

“There was also a need to increase the involvement of the private sector in informing policy design, thereby facilitating implementation and improving the effectiveness of the policies,” Dr. Tunde said.

“There is benefit finding appropriate instruments to strengthen private sector participation.”

That private sector collaboration needs improvement.

The IGC offers independent advices on economic growth to governments of developing countries.

Based at London School of Economics and in partnership with Oxford University, the IGC is funded by DFID.

IGC-Sierra Leone programme focuses on private sector development and export diversification, financial sector and agriculture.

Specific areas of policy advice includes improving the investment climate, intervention policies for export promotion, technical and cooperation among private sector firms, developing a coherent approach to nurturing a national innovation system, strategy to encourage commercial farming and risk management in banking sector supervision

By Rachel Horner

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