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The Grim Assessment Of The COVID19 Economic Impact In Sierra Leone Episode 1

Popularity 1Viewed 678 times 2020-5-18 01:27 |System category:News

The Grim Assessment Of The COVID19 Economic Impact In Sierra Leone 
Episode 1
By 
Dr. Allieu Badara Kabia                 Dean,  Social Sciences Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology (EBKUST)
Over the years, before the inception of the COVID19 plague, Sierra Leone economy had been categorized as an import driven with export drivers dormant and one of the vulnerable emerging market in Sub-Sahara Africa with a low income and Highly Indebted Poor Country(HIPC) status that has gone through political transitions and rigorous negative economic evolutions as a result of the triple shocks. These shocks were; the 11 years rebel war that ended in 2002, the Ebola epidemic scourge that enters it fabrics late 2013 and the recent past mud slide and flooding in the city of Freetown and other parts of the country. 

The COVID19 outbreak in Sierra Leone in particular and the globe at large have rendered the situation worsen and exposed the country to more risk (health and non-health hazards). So, the  economic impact of COVID-19  in Sierra Leone cannot be underestimated  and this has created a platform of  harmful ramification with breaks on the engines and drivers of economic growth with a considerable systemic and country risk effect. This insinuated a battered economy to the already sluggish economy before the scourge with huge leakages and less injections incubating an indication of economic recession. This resulted to a geometric decline in; Gross domestic product, consolidated revenue fund, trade, investment and productivity whilst Government expenditure, inflation and unemployment are on a sharp acute increase which impedes human livelihood, poor standard and high cost of living, a rapid accelerated decline in economic empowerment and a multiplier increase in the public budget deficit .
The magnitude of the COVID19 economic impact varies from one country to another. Currently, the emergent of the virus in Sierra Leone just like other African countries in Sub-Sahara as created a proliferation stage for the economy to be engulfed with a mixture of several indicators such as;  the lockdowns, social distancing, closing of borders, closure of private businesses and enterprises, hunger and fear of the disease and stigmatization have impeded households and business entities economic activities. In Sierra Leone, few businesses in the private sector that were able to open have taken advantage of the scarcity of commodities by raising prices that has made the situation very unfavorable with an expensive and very high cost of living. The inability of individuals and business entities to carry out their normal business activities led to a decrease in household incomes and business operating incomes respectively. The tremendous impact of the COVID19 on food security has also negatively affected people’s food consumption lifestyle. Many people have no alternative but to change their consumption habits and had to eat less comparatively than before the COVID19. For instance from the normal staple food rice to 'gari' and cassava etc. The COVID19 has had a significant impact on the education sector too which resulted to the closure of ; schools, colleges, Universities  and other educational institutions in the country fraught with difficulties and challenges of limited resources for the educational sector to adopt the E-learning model. 
In view of the aforesaid grim assessment of the impact of COVID19 in Sierra Leone, the COVID-19 policy responses, should demand for adequate consideration for the current unbearable and alarming situation. This will enable the Government of Sierra Leone to consolidate efforts with clear goals to adopt stimulants to reactivate and reinvigorate the already freeze up economic drivers and engines to mitigate the huge national, regional , continental and global economic impacts in the country there by fueling and giving life back to the economy. As an import driven economy with export drivers dormant , Sierra Leone needs to be flexible in its border limitations to create an enabling environment of opening up to allow the inflow of goods from other countries to cushion the effect.
Addendum to that, proactive measures are also needed with sound , timely and adequate policies for urban and rural economic recovery through measures to boost finances and capacities of local authorities. The local governments as first responders in communities, must be supported because they are better able to respond to local needs including in coordination with community-based structures, subsidies and short term bailouts and exemptions for small and medium enterprises to enhance productivity and reduce the high employment rate, social protection and automated stabilizers while looking forward to the opportunities and potential of labour intensive public work programs to absorbed the already high unemployment rate in the medium term. 
look forward for Episode 2                                                                                          Free to share

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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  • China's Move in Deepening Poverty Alleviation 2016-12-2 21:05

    财神: Sure, i will be waiting for that. How china alleviate poverty from the nation? what are the main tools that lead a nation towards prosperity? i wanna  ...
    You are welcome, will surely do. Cheers

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    Kabisco751: Thanks boss, indeed will surely include some of  those tools/formulas adopted but that will be in the part 2 of this Article. I deliberately left that ...
    Sure, i will be waiting for that. How china alleviate poverty from the nation? what are the main tools that lead a nation towards prosperity? i wanna see some stuffs from you. good luck.

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