Sierra Leone. According to Countryaah, the UN Human Development Report 2013 on developments in the countries of the world revealed that Sierra Leone is one of the most developed countries in the last three years. The country has especially improved in areas such as health, income and education. But Sierra Leone is still one of the world’s poorest countries and has a low HDI (Human Development Index), the measure on which the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) bases its comparison of wealth in the world’s countries.
In the autumn, the country was granted a $ 96 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The money was intended to be used for poverty reduction and to further develop the country’s economy.
In April, Sierra Leone sent 850 soldiers to Somalia to join the African Union peacekeeping force, AMISOM. Two months later, one of Sierra Leone’s military bases in Somalia was attacked by the militant movement al-Shabab. The main task of the AMISOM Peace Force is to stabilize the situation in Somalia by, among other things, facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid and maintaining security in the areas where the force is mandated to operate.
During the year Swedfund, which is the Swedish state’s venture capital company for investments in poor countries, again received criticism for the biofuel project in which the company invested SEK 90 million from the Swedish aid budget. The money has gone to the Swiss company Addax BioEnergy, which since 2011 grows sugar cane in Sierra Leone for the production of bioethanol for the European energy market.
The criticism against Swedfund dealt, among other things. that the project has not led to more jobs for the residents of the area, who also testified that they have had less access to food since the project was started. Since biofuel began to be produced in Sierra Leone, large areas of land have been leased out to the foreign companies for up to 50 years, which means that the population will lose the right to nearby agricultural land for a very long time to come. In 2012, 49% of Swedfund’s investments in Africa were made.
During the summer, several corruption scandals were discovered within the country’s banking system and the government world. Several people were arrested for participating in the corruption, which aroused great debate in the country’s media. At the end of July, a report was issued by the organization Transparency International which confirmed the image of Sierra Leone as a country where corruption is increasing and poses major problems for the population. According to the report, a great responsibility rests with the government, which instead of counteracting the development itself has institutionalized bribery and other forms of corruption. According to Transparency International, the country is the most corrupt in the world.