In 2014, the Sierra Leonean government tried to get support from the World Bank for the implementation of the digital transformation project. The process did not succeed, because the international financial institution accused Freetown of mismanaging resources.
Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Information and Communications has begun implementing the National Digital Transformation Project with a $50 million grant from the World Bank. The project is planned to last five years. Among other things, it should ensure access to high-speed connectivity for all, the improvement of digital skills and the provision by the government of digital services.
“ The digital transformation of government involves the use of innovative technologies in order to provide citizens with more transparent, cost-effective and customer-focused services, both nationally and locally ,” said Mohamed Rahman Swarray, Minister of Information and Communications.
This initiative is part of the government’s ambition to digitally connect all Sierra Leoneans. The implementation of the digital transformation project has become an emergency in a context where digital transformation has continued to accelerate on the continent since 2020, in particular due to Covid-19. The Sierra Leonean government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnamese digital solutions provider FPT to benefit from its expertise. The government is also collaborating with the company Smart Africa to digitize its economy.
The realization of the digital transformation project is expected to contribute to the development of all sectors of the Sierra Leonean economy. This will facilitate economic growth, job creation, skills development and the development of new business opportunities. According to the International Telecommunications Union, a 10% increase in mobile broadband Internet penetration in Africa would lead to an average increase of 2.5% in per capita GDP.