Bureaucracies and unfavorable socioeconomic policies in Sierra Leone are said to have retarded the efforts of potential investors seeking to invest in the country thereby aggravating mass unemployment and poverty. This assertion could be justified by the World Bank or the International Financial Corporation report 2008, which puts Sierra Leone among countries in Africa that dominate the bottom of the 2008 ‘Doing Business’ report.
The report specifically indicated that Sierra Leone, occupies 160 position on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report 2008, out of 176 countries all over the world which clearly points to the fact that, there is a difficulty in ‘Doing Business’ in Sierra Leone as compared to the other countries in Asia, Europe and America. Mary Agboli, the operations officer for investment climate team in sub-saharan Africa at International Financial Corporation observed that inspite of the challenges facing third world African countries, some countries like Ghana and Tanzania were listed on top as worldwide reformers in 2006, in which Ghana was rated number 9 and Tanzania number 10 out of 142 countries on ‘Ease of Doing Business.’ To reform for “Ease of Doing Business” she said is to remove some of the bureaucracies to attract investment and to improve on state economy. She pointed out that policies, laws, regulations, infrastructure, institutions, endowments, market characteristics, political instability and security are elements of investment climate. She also mentioned that uncertainty, macro instability, tax, corruption, cost and access to finance and crime are major constraints to the investment climate. Sierra Leone priorities she noted could be reflected on doing business, focussing on administrative reform, which has to do with business startup license, other red tape import – export procedures and logistics.
Barriers to enterprise formalization is another focus which has to do with complexity and cost of business registration, lack of benefits in terms of state finance exposure to corrupt tax and license authorities, lack of transparency and information. She concluded that heavy regulation excludes vulnerable people from ‘Doing Business.’ The world bank communication specialist Sidie Sheriff is on record to have said that, the bureaucracies in ‘Doing Business’ in Sierra Leone are of serious concern to international and local investors, who might want to invest in the country
By Solomon Rogers