The 2022 Sierra Leone budget, themed “building resilience for inclusive green recovery,” details the government’s plan to address the numerous challenges facing the country, including a weakened economy from the effects of COVID-19 and the Ukraine War; increasing food shortages; natural disasters; and climate change risks. The GOSL claims it will address these issues through advancing infrastructure and human capital development, yet funding allocated to the capital sector suggests otherwise.
As of September 2021, the country’s inflation rate was 11.3 percent. The Leone is devaluing due to pressure from a weaker economy, rising imports, and a widening trade deficit. Despite the 2021 budget’s subpar macroeconomic performance, the GOSL expects the economy to expand by 5.0 percent in 2022. This assertive action could negatively affect foreign direct investments in the nation.
The projected expenditures for 2022 are Le11.81 trillion ($981m), a 10% increase over the estimated budget for 2021 (Le10.7 trillion), and the projected revenue is Le9.94 trillion ($825m), an 8% increase over the estimated budget for 2021(Le 9.19 trillion). With a grant of Le 2.3 trillion ($191m), the budget has a deficit of Le 1.87 trillion ($155m).
The government’s spending for FY 2022 are the education sector, which stands at Le 1.7 trillion, or 22 percent of the budget. Notably, a sizable portion of this amount is used to pay wages and salaries, while only Le 344.8 billion funds teaching and learning materials, feeding, and WASSCE payments. The government anticipates receiving Le 861.4 bllion in foreign aid to support construction projects and educational initiatives.