On July 12, Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, launched the new national development plan for the period 2013-2018 called “Agenda for Prosperity” (A4P). The support provided by the African Development Bank in mainstreaming green growth in the A4P was largely acknowledged by the Government – the national vision being for Sierra Leone to be an inclusive, green, middle-income country by 2035.
After 10 months of close collaboration with the national team in charge of preparing the A4P, the AfDB is glad to see that green growth principles have been well incorporated in the new national development plan. The strategic approach of the A4P incorporates the three pillars of green growth agreed by Sierra Leone: responsible management of natural resources; sustainable development of infrastructure and cities, and increased resilience and economic diversification.
Through the A4P, Sierra Leone acknowledges that natural resources are the foundation of growth and economic diversification for the country. Priority economic areas include agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and tourism, all of which are dependent on natural resources. This new agenda also distinguishes between non-renewable resources (mining, minerals, oil and gas) where responsible exploitation, revenue management and mitigation of environmental and social impacts are key; and renewable natural resources (land, water, forests, fisheries) where sustainable management is important to avoid resource degradation. As the revenues generated by extractive industries are expected to increase substantively, it becomes critical to further improve governance, revenue management and equitable sharing of the benefits for all Sierra Leoneans. A4P also emphasizes that improved infrastructure – transports and energy especially – are key to enhanced competiveness. The planned energy investments have a strong focus on renewable energy as well as improved energy access, while the road infrastructure investments emphasize rural roads, key to efficiency gains and improved commercialization in agriculture.
In the A4P, Sierra Leone has articulated a pathway for inclusive green growth and has taken a leadership role among African countries in its commitment to this pathway. The Bank will now support Sierra Leone in implementing this vision, through its new Country Strategy Paper for the period 2013-2017.