Monday, October 22, 2007

Inflation Rate On the Increase

Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone Thursday disclosed that inflation rate in the country has increased from 7.8 percent in 2006 to 10.5 in 2007.

Dr. James D. Rogers made the revelation at a financial technology round-table organized by SBTS Group at the Old Skool entertainment complex in Freetown.

He, however, touted Sierra Leone's economy as one of the fastest growing in the sub-region moving at 7.5% ahead of African average rate of 5.4%.

The bank governor said the crisis that rocked Guinea some months ago affected Sierra Leone's inflation rate for a short period.

Dr. Rogers called for the introduction ICT into the country's banking sector. "Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is at the center of development in the present global environment. Sierra Leone has US$200 million in its foreign reserve and Nigeria has US$1.4 billion, yet people are poor and suffering," he said and explained that the essence of having a foreign reserve is to make the country a participant in the global market trend.

He said one of the leakages in the country's economy is that revenue generated from the informal sector, including those from small businesses operated by traders and mechanics are not recorded.

He said relevant skills such as ICT must be developed for economic growth and stated that multinational companies are the major beneficiaries of international trade as global taxes are not in favour of developing countries.

He added that during his tenure, the exchange rate was stabilized significantly as the US Dollar was sold out to the public to revalue the Leone.

Speaking on the banking system in the country, Financial Specialist of SBTS Group, Craigg Ballance said Sierra Leone has between 150,000 and 200,000 account holders.

Ballance noted that most of the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the banks lack well user support and stressed the need for banks to accept and facilitate electronic and cash payment.

allAfrica.com: Sierra Leone: Inflation Rate On the Increase (Page 1 of 1)