Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Sierra Leone 2024 Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard which was presented yesterday by the United States of America Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Bryan David Hunt to President Bio at State House is a tale of triumph and tribulation.
Sierra Leone moved from passing 11 indicators in 2023 to 10 in the 2024 scorecard dropping down a step down the MCC rung.
Comparing this year’s report with the 2023 scorecard provides a striking narrative of the country’s enduring progress and looming hurdles.
Sierra Leone’s unwavering commitment to investing in education was a highlight in 2023, marked by a perfect 100% score in primary education expenditure.
The 2024 scorecard reinforces this dedication with a notable increase from 3.61% to 4.3% of GDP between 2020 and 2021. This leap positions Sierra Leone as a standout among lower-income countries on the MCC scorecard, underlining a persistent focus on enhancing educational access and quality.
In 2023, Sierra Leone gained recognition for achieving a remarkable Girls’ Primary Education Completion Rate of over 99.5%, outshining its West African peers. The 2024 scorecard continues to celebrate this achievement, emphasizing Sierra Leone’s unwavering commitment to girls’ education, driving gender equality and societal advancement.
A consistent source of pride for Sierra Leone, control of corruption, shines brightly in both 2023 and 2024. This attests to the government’s resolute dedication to good governance, a cornerstone of economic development and the attraction of foreign investments.
A notable accomplishment in 2024 was Sierra Leone’s passing of the Land Rights and Access indicator, signifying progress in addressing land-related issues that significantly impact social stability and economic growth.
In both 2023 and 2024, Sierra Leone showcased commendable performance in various ruling justly indicators, underscoring the government’s commitment to governance and justice.
However, the Employment Opportunity indicator presents a sobering challenge. Sierra Leone could not secure a pass in 2023. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge the government’s ongoing efforts to revamp labor laws and bolster worker protection and inclusivity. With the Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Act enacted in 2022 and the anticipated passage of the Gender Empowerment Bill in 2024, the government underscores its commitment to addressing employment-related concerns and nurturing safer workplaces, particularly for women.
Presenting the scorecard Ambassador Hunt underscored
“This is an excellent way to assess government’s progress. This government has consistently continued to improve on the various scores in the MCC Scorecard.” The US envoy revealed that December this year the MCC Board would meet and take a decision on whether to re-select Sierra Leone for the MCC Compact again.
In response, President Bio stated, “From the MCC scorecard, I have seen that my government has consistently made progress in the area of gender, control of corruption, regulatory policies, health expenditure, and employment opportunity, among others. Apart from the MCC compact that we will eventually have to benefit from, it is good for us to know what progress we are making.”
Expressing his delight to have continuously passed the MCC scorecard, noting that it was good to have the result of an assessment from such an internationally respected and independent organisation about his government.
“Even though 2023 was political and an election year, my government did very well to pass the MCC scorecard. It shows that we did not lose sight of what we had planned to do in 2023,” President Bio told the US Ambassador. OG/07/11/2023