Sierra Leone became a republic in 1971. In the early 1990s a protracted civil war began. The current President, Ernest Bai Koroma, was elected in 2007 through elections deemed fair by international observers. The Koroma Government is committed to reform, and under its leadership, Sierra Leone already has made significant progress in maintaining political and economic stability, implementing structural and institutional reforms, and improving service delivery. Among the achievements to date include:
- Dramatic improvement in the ease of starting business in the country evidenced in the improvement in its ranking from 94th in 2008 to 53rd in 2009 in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business;
- Establishment of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency to attract investment and facilitate exports;
- Passage of the Company`s Act Payment System Act and bankruptcy law;
- Reduction in treasury rates to 15 percent, down from about 22 percent, in order to facilitate a reduction in commercial lending rates; and
- Completion of a financial sector strategy and a private sector development strategy that places an emphasis on the growth in agriculture, fisheries, mining, telecommunications, and infrastructure sectors.