Employment-Intensive Investment in Sierra Leone

Web page | 10 December 2014

Current EIIP Involvement

Currently, the ILO is implementing a Quick Impact Employment Creation (QIEC) project that is aimed at generating immediate productive employment opportunities for youth through the labour-based implementation of public works. It is providing an important foundation for the consolidation of peace and security in the country. The programme supports the government’s strategy to generate youth employment through its pro-poor growth strategy in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The project has trained more than 15 emerging contractors and created over 21,000 worker-days of employment over a six-month period from August 2010.

Historical Information

Since the mid 1980's, the ILO has been the executing agency in Sierra Leone for labour-based multi-sectorial projects with significant feeder road components. About 200 km feeder roads have been improved with ILO technical assistance funded by UNDP and with investment funds provided by DANIDA, the EU, Italy and UNCDF.

Between 1992 and 1995, the ILO provided technical assistance to a UNDP/UNCDF-funded project aiming at rehabilitating about 200 km of the feeder road network in the Moyamba District by involving local small-scale contractors. The project enhanced the capabilities of road rehabilitation brigades and provided employment and training opportunities to a large labour force.

Based on the successful experience of the above projects, the government of Sierra Leone decided to expand its labour-based programme into Kambia, Port Loko and Tonkolili Districts and to rehabilitate some 360 km of feeder roads by using local contractors. A new project was financed by the World Bank as a sub-component of their Agriculture Sector Support Project (ASSP) to be executed by the Sierra Leone Road Authority with ILO technical assistance. By May 1997, the project had trained 40 small-scale labour-based contractors and rehabilitated about 300 km of feeder roads to all weather standards, generating considerable employment opportunities. Though the project was scheduled for completion in December 1997, it was interrupted in June 1997 due to a coup d’état followed by civil war.

Following the ECOMOG intervention in February 1998, the situation in Sierra Leone registered a considerable improvement. In May, a World Bank mission reached important agreements with the Government and it was decided to extend IDA support for agriculture and rural development during an emergency period of 12 months. In this context, the ILO-assisted "Spot improvement of feeder roads and small bridges" project was re-launched in August 1998. This new intervention was meant as a continuation of the above-mentioned project.

In December 1998, further to a new escalation of violence in the country, project operations had to be stopped. In June 1999, the WBASSP programme was terminated at the request of the World Bank.