Sierra Leone’s general election has drawn mixed reaction from the business community. Some are optimistic that the new system that will be voted in by the majority will address some of the issues that hinder their development.
Until 2014, the government had relied on external assistance to support its budget, but it was gradually becoming more independent.
Some Sierra Leoneans also feel that nothing new can be implemented by the government that will come into place after the 7th election.
We put our food stuffs and they rot because all the buyers pledge to return after the elections.
‘‘Business is not good this election period. There’s no money, people are not buying. We put our food stuffs and they rot because all the buyers pledge to return after the elections,’‘ complains Kadiatu Bangura, a trader.
Buyers on the other hand have felt the pinch of harsh economy from the rising food prices more so in this election period.
‘‘Prices before the election cannot be compared to now that we’re in the election period. All the prices including for pepper and onions have gone up. It is very hard for us who don’t earn much,’‘ says Fatmata Sowa,a buyer.
In recent years, economic growth has been driven by mining – particularly iron ore. The country’s principal exports are iron ore, diamonds, and rutile, and the economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices.
But this has not reflected in the lives of ordinary citizens who attribute this to rampant corruption by state officials.
The ruling All People’s Congress has made several efforts to develop critical sectors in the country that include roads and infrastructure.
Their two major projects that include construction of a new airport and a toll road project linking Freetown to the provinces has widely been criticized by the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party.