Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) has officially declared the dates for its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings in 2024, signalling a crucial step in shaping the nation’s economic landscape. According to the Central Bank’s website, the upcoming interest rate meeting is scheduled for the 28th of March, 2024. The first of the fiscal year, this meeting will be followed by the release of the Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) on the 2nd of April, 2024.
As the apex policy-making body of the Bank, the MPC plays a pivotal role in evaluating economic and financial conditions and determining the appropriate policy stance in the short to medium term. Under the leadership of the new Bank Governor, Ibrahim Stevens, who assumed office in November 2023, the market is eagerly anticipating the MPC’s guidance on interest rates during its first quarter meeting.
The Leone has shown resilience in official trading and experienced an increase to around SLE 23.7 to the dollar on the parallel market. This surge is likely to be a focal point of discussion during the upcoming MPC meeting.
In its previous meeting held in December 2023, the Central Bank raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 1.0 percentage point to 22.25 per cent. This move followed incremental increases of 0.50 percentage points in March and July, and a substantial 2.0 percentage point hike in September.
The MPC calendar for the year outlines three additional meetings: 27th June, 2024, 26th September, 2024, and 12th December, 2024. Governor Stevens, emphasizing a commitment to monitoring global and domestic economic developments, stands ready to take necessary actions to maintain price and financial system stability, as stated in the last MPS. The upcoming MPC meetings are expected to provide valuable insights into the Central Bank’s strategies to navigate evolving economic landscapes and uphold financial stability. ZIJ/23/1/2024