Sierra Leone could be the fastest-growing economy in the world in 2012, according to a story on Bloomberg’s Businessweek, citing Finance Minister Samura Kamara. He told parliament on 25 November that growth will be 50% because of new iron ore mines coming on stream, and 10% in 2013 and in 2014.
African Minerals Ltd. started shipping iron ore from Tonkolili iron-ore mine 4 Nov. and London Mining Plc, is to start in Dec. Growth excluding iron ore would be 6%.
Sierra Leone has been seeking to attract foreign investment. It need to rebuild an economy destroyed almost completely by 11 years of civil war, which ended in 2002.
Kamara reportedly said the budget deficit (excluding grants) will be 10.4 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 from 11.8% in 2011. The 2011 gap is forecast at 3.9%, excluding grants. Revenue from mining licenses and royalties will increase to SLL242.3 billion (the currency is called “leones” and this is equivalent to about $55 million) in 2012, up 30% and higher exports will help narrow the country’s current-account deficit to 11.2 % in 2012.
Inflation slowed to 15.7% in September and in October, the Bank of Sierra Leone cut 300 basis points (3 percentage points) from its key lending rate, lowering it to 20 %. Inflation is forecast to fall to 11% in 2012 and “single digits” in 2013 and 2014. Spending will include
The country will spend SLL395 bn on road construction, SLL206 bn on energy and water and SLL 6.3 bn for the rehabilitation of the main airport at Lungi, outside Freetown. Donors are contributing to infrastructure development.
Giant iron ore mines have also started earlier this year in Liberia.