Viewpoint: The Transformative Potential of the Private Sector in Fragile States

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Almost six months have passed since the World Health Organization officially proclaimed Sierra Leone Ebola-free. There have been a few scares since, but stability is nonetheless returning — bringing with it renewed hope of progress. Prior to Ebola, Sierra Leone was experiencing sustained annual economic growth of between 4 and 7 percent, with projected growth close to 11 percent. Governance, gender, environmental and social indicators had been improving. We had seen small but tangible improvements in infrastructure development.

This progress was all but extinguished by Ebola. Moreover, close to 4,000 Sierra Leoneans died during the Ebola crisis, with virtually every community affected. It will take generations for many families to get over that loss.

Still, we must start to move the country back toward a positive development path as soon as possible. Sierra Leone’s post-civil war development was predicated on good governance and economic growth. These two factors are again key now, and show some encouraging signs. Ebola demonstrated the resilience of the Sierra Leonean state and several key private sector actors.

On the government level in Sierra Leone, the swift setting up of the National Ebola Response Center, which acted as a focal point for emergency relief and coordination, significantly improved the national recovery effort. Several private sector actors participated.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

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