Sierra Leone

Africa Governance Initiative in Sierra Leone

"I have seen AGI's impact in the way my Government functions and in its capacity to implement my priorities in health, agriculture and private sector development." President Ernest Bai Koroma

AGI’s work in Sierra Leone began in 2008. After a brutal civil war, Sierra Leone was classed as one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average life expectancy of just 41 years. In recent years, Sierra Leone has taken great strides towards a brighter future. In the past decade, the country made the third largest improvement in governance of any country in Africa, according to the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. However, the powerful progress achieved is fragile.

We have helped President Koroma’s government introduce the Free Healthcare Initiative for pregnant women and children. Before the Ebola crisis, this programme doubled the number of women giving birth in hospital, and saw recorded deaths among children treated for malaria fall by more than 80%. Our work in the Ministry of Agriculture meanwhile helped the government to push through agricultural reforms, which as much as doubled rice yields in parts of the country and built 900km of new road which now provide farmers with better access to markets.

Now we are working with the Sierra Leonean government to help them contain and eliminate Ebola, while maintaining support to government to plan for the post-Ebola recovery. Coordination across the national and district levels and with the many international partners is especially important in a time of crisis, as is timely and accurate information, robust systems for implementing decisions taken on the basis of that information and accountability for delivery of those decisions. In short, good governance is just as critical in a crisis as it is in more normal times for government.

Our team is working to support the national Ebola hotline, the National Situation Room where information flows in from across the country, and the district-level response around Freetown, where teams and resources are deployed to respond to Ebola cases. We are also continuing our support to other government ministries planning for the post-Ebola recovery.

Hear more about our work in Sierra Leone by watching the below video. Dr Malte Gerhold, then Country Head of AGI in Sierra Leone, talks about the work of the organisation, his experiences in Freetown, and the progress he’s saw there.


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