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World Bank launches global online survey for Sierra Leone Diaspora on the challenges and opportunities to investing in Sierra Leone, post-Ebola

After months of outreach and focus groups in Atlanta, Toronto, London and Washington, DC the World Bank is expanding its Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment and Trade Study to the entire global Sierra Leone diaspora. 
 
Through an online survey, the World Bank hopes to gain additional insights on diaspora views regarding investing in Sierra Leone, post-Ebola.  The overall aim of this study is to gather data in an unprecedented manner that will inform the development of new lending policies, technical assistance and investment models specifically designed to foster diaspora engagement and involvement in investing in their home country.  In this way, the World Bank hopes to expand current diaspora contributions beyond charitable donations, remittances and direct financial investments into other long-term and more sustainable ventures. 
 
Some of the potential new investment models the World Bank may support, include catalytic funds to support SMEs, matching fund schemes and public-private joint ventures in various sectors of the economy where the diaspora expresses investment interests.  Also available are opportunities to provide assistance for targeted short and long-term volunteer work by professionals, particularly in the sectors of healthcare and education.  Besides the World Bank, the information would be available to other financing institutions, foundations, investment funds and donors like USAID and DFID that have expressed interest in supporting diaspora investment and trade initiatives in Sierra Leone. 
 
This venture comes at a critical time in Sierra Leone’s history.  The recent regional Ebola outbreak has had a devastating impact on the Sierra Leone economy and wreaked havoc not only in public health but in all sectors.  Advances in mining, agriculture, energy and tourism have all but ground to a halt.  2014 growth projections of 11.3 percent were never realized, instead falling to 7.1 percent by years-end.  Recent estimates further show that there is a considerable risk that recent economic progress and related gains in social and economic well-being stand to be reversed, due in large part to investor aversion as well as the closure of iron ore mining in early 2015, which could potentially lead to a severe economic contraction of up to 23.5 percent if iron ore mining does not resume within the year.  This contrasts sharply with the pre-Ebola forecast of +8.9 percent real GDP growth.  In such a worst case, GDP in 2015 would be $ 1.4 billion lower than the pre-Ebola forecast. 
 
As of April 2015, the World Bank Group has mobilized US$1.62 billion in financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to support the countries hardest hit by Ebola.  Some of the funding has been used to support foreign and local health care workers, ensuring the continued supply of essential goods and services and to finance medium and long-term projects.  This study and its proposed diaspora investment models are part of the World Bank’s long-term commitment to partnering with Sierra Leone in its economic recovery post-Ebola. 
 

Why is it important for the Sierra Leone Diaspora to participate in this study?
 
The challenge of Sierra Leone’s economic recovery offers many opportunities to create new solutions to address the country’s development needs.  Diaspora investments stand to play an important role in rejuvenating many sectors, including education, agriculture, mining, tourism and health. 
 
For members of the global Sierra Leone diaspora this survey is an important opportunity to participate in a new venture by the World Bank.  To date, the World Bank has never engaged the Sierra Leone diaspora at this level, offering a direct opportunity for nationals to have a real impact on the development of operations by making their views known.  As key stakeholders in Sierra Leone’s development the diaspora stands to shape the conversation and orient the organization’s approach to post-Ebola investments.  Individuals and organizations representing the diaspora also stand a chance to obtain funding for their investment projects as they align with World Bank in-country commitments.
 
The online survey is available April 27th - May 31st, 2015.  All Sierra Leoneans who live outside of Sierra Leone or consider themselves to be members of the Sierra Leone diaspora are welcome to complete and share it through their networks.  Please join in because the greater the response rate, the greater the impact of the Sierra Leone diaspora’s voice.
 

Fill Out Survey Here
 

Comments

Submitted by Humphrey Sonby on

The president cannot be trusted anymore. He has yet to account for the missapropriation of Ebola funds.

Submitted by abeelsidique on

I got to know about this survay by word of mouth. Hope you will fiend a better way of reaching out to us in the diaspora.

Submitted by Peter Muana on

My concern is the money sent for growth/ development will be diverted into the personal bank accounts of ministers and their cronies. Moreover, the current status quo is not conducive for more money, but a review of how previous monies has been spent. Accountability for any misappropriation of funds.
We the youths are paying back interests on such loans fromthe world bank,we are stakeholders we have to be informed about how it is been spent.

Submitted by Humphrey Sonny on

I dont see how any investor can invest in a country that does not have law and law and order. As much as we would like see investment in our country, however, this is not the right time with this government. The current president has been in office almost 8 years, he came to office absolutely nothing, and how he is one the of the 5 richest presidents in Africa. He has bribed all sectors of the government and even the parliamentarians. So i will advice any investor to hold off untill after election whenever that will be, but this government is not honest and with the criminal enterprise he is currently runing, this is not the right time. The world bank besides taking a survey can also have an open dialogue or have a hearing on this issue before doing any investment in our country. We have enough evidence to prove that with this current government, investors should hold off.

Submitted by Lihai Turay on

Incompetence, favouritism and blatant corruption are some of the root causes of the dysfunctional issues we have at home in Sierra Leone. personally president Koroma is the worstIncompetence, favouritism and blatant corruption are some of the root causes of the dysfunctional issues we have at home in Sierra Leone. koroma is the most corrupt president Sierra Leone have ever had. So many foreign investment have been going to Sierra Leone but at the end of the day our people are not benefiting from this investment but all goes to the president and his ministers. I will advise if any funds should go to Sierra Leone it should be going through private organization instead of the government. it will help the people that needed it most than this corrupt current government.

Submitted by Osman Sesay on

its about time that we are aware of development or any financial commitment between the world Bank and our beloved :Sierra Leone .

Submitted by Osman Sesay on

its about time that we are aware of development or any financial commitment between the world Bank and our beloved :Sierra Leone .

Submitted by Osman Sesay on

Good idea

Submitted by Janet Martha Musa on

i have no faith in the current administration as corruption is rife and its effect on the lives of Sierra Leoneans is damaging as basic needs are not met. I believe that the recovery fund is not going to be spent in the various sectors for which its intended. The World Bank Should call for accountability and transparency in how the funds are used and whether targets were met.
This move will prevent the administration from diverting funds elsewhere. It's very important to monitor the Ebola recovery program to ensure that the citizens of Sierra Leone are the real beneficiaries. We should not turn a blind eye to unjust enrichment at the expense of the poor people who badly need every help post Ebola.
Regular intervention is necessary to ensure proper use of the funds!!!!

Submitted by Sonia cole on

Please Sierra Leone is not a good place to invest under the leadership of president Ernest Bai Koroma.He has embezzelled all the ebola money whilst the people are dying.A dictator and no freedom of speech in our beloved country.

Submitted by Benjamin Kaingbanja on

The Government of Sierra Leone is one marked my unconstrained greed, corruption and lack of empathy for the poor (who are 95% of the Ebola Victims). I suggest that the World Bank invest in Sierra Leone only on tangeble things such as Hospital buildings. The Government of Sierra Leone had to used school buildings to house Ebila patients. Thereby potentially putting the life of school kids at risk upon their return to classes.. The schools were use as makeshift hospital because there is no hospital structures in Sierra Leone that has a capacity to house 300 patients at once. The hospital structures the colonial masters left behind are the only ones at our disposal. The government of Sierra Leone will rather spends ifunds on buying ammunitions to kill it's own citizenry that expresses opposition to there corruption and ineptness instead of building hospital. Funding structural investment will leave little room for embezzlement of donor ffunds. And also, donations to the government should be done in phases. That way, expenditures will be audited from one phases before proceeding to another phases.

Submitted by Hassan Baraka on

I support the idea of sending funds to help our economy that had been devastated by the EVD. However , the World Bank should make sure that the money does not go directly to Goverment or any agency created by it in the form of a front. The funds that were sent earlier have not been accounted for. Any funds sent directly to the government will be used by this corrupt government and its cronies to perpetuate themselves in power. The money could be sent in the different forms rather than the raw cash which can easily be pliferrd by the corrupt APC government whose sole preoccupation is to enrich themselves and their families.

Submitted by Roland Charley on

This seems to be an absolutely brilliant idea. Sierra Leone an scintillating the diaspora round the world would welcome this. At least they will feel involved and would come up with interesting and viable suggestions.

Submitted by Daniel M. Koroma on

Many of the Sierra Leoneans I know in the diaspora want to come invest in their country Sierra Leone but don't have the startup capital. For instance,I will be completing my B.S.B.A program in July of this year with a special concentration in management. I like to start an import and export enterprise but again the major barrier i am also experiencing like many others is access to startup capital. So I think this is one main key area World Bank could make a huge difference in the drive for post Ebola recovary and development plans. This single solution will make an immediate impact in the recovery process. Secondly, the current banking service system in SL is doing an okay job but in my personal opinion it could use an improvement in regards to implementing suitable policies and procedures in working with the diaspora investment groups and individuals. Right now the way the banking system is setup is very difficult to access funds or conduct business transactions directly with banks in Sierra Leone. The communication system needs a major overhaul. Cost-efficent IT system is in high demand nationwide. To effectively compete in the global market Sierra Leone needs a strong IT inforstuctur. Last but not least, we need an internetwork system spicificly with the private segtor and government, international banks and local banks, venture capitalists and Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora. I think this will be a good start for a strategic win win partnership in social and economic development for Sierra Leone. Invest in the people in-turn the government, customers and shareholders gain profit. I hope this helps....D

Submitted by Salifu M Mansaray on

Before and after independence Sierra Leone was and is currently plague with poor infrastructural institutions and widespread political, economic and social bad governance.

Submitted by Amadu Massally on

Reaching four hundred Sierra Leoneans in the first 12 days since the survey launched on April 27, 2015 -- our Independence Anniversary -- is quite phenomenal. Should the survey continue if minimal goals have been met or should it be shut down prematurely?

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