GIZ has been working in Sierra Leone since 1963 on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Work was suspended in 1990 for ten years because of the civil war. Since 2010, GIZ has once again been represented through a regional office for Sierra Leone and Liberia based in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Our work in Sierra Leone is implemented by 7 seconded members of staff and 36 national experts.
Despite the political and economic upturn, Sierra Leone continues to face challenges which pose a threat to the country’s stability more than a decade after the end of the civil war. The country places enormous importance on agricultural production and is making, for example, a growing contribution to the worldwide export of cocoa beans from West Africa. The government is making efforts to create an enabling environment for foreign investment, particularly in the agricultural and commodities sectors, with a view to strengthening the country’s economic potential.
As a result of the civil war, children and young people in particular have become socially marginalised and are alienated from social norms and values. Their lack of prospects for the future makes them prone to crime and drug abuse. There is growing concern in the population at large that this neglected generation could pose a threat to the painstakingly won peace in the medium term.
President Ernest Bai Koroma, who was elected in 2007, was sworn in for his second five-year term of office in November 2012.
GIZ is currently implementing a programme in Sierra Leone to promote employment among young people on behalf of BMZ. This programme focuses on improving the employment and income situation of young people in rural areas and initiates development partnerships with established companies to create more jobs.
A regional project commissioned by BMZ and geared to raw materials governance in the fragile states of West Africa is also being implemented in Sierra Leone on account of the country’s large deposits of raw materials. Profits from the commercial exploitation of individual raw materials have helped finance civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone; in some parts of the country this commercial exploitation continues to have a destabilising effect. The aim of the project is to help improve the framework for a more equitable use of natural resources and to create greater transparency in the commodities sector.
On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, GIZ is implementing a project geared to the reform and strengthening of the justice sector.
GIZ coordinates its activities closely with international donors, including the United Kingdom, European Union (EU) and the World Bank.
Projects and Programmes
Governance and democracy
Economic development and employment