Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), David Sengeh, has refuted claims made by the former All People’s Congress (APC) government regarding the depreciation of the country’s currency, the Leone.

In a social media post, Sengeh asserted that Leone experienced greater depreciation under the APC government than under the current ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government.

Citing data from the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Sengeh presented the exchange rate depreciation percentages to support his argument.

According to the provided figures, during the APC era from January 2007 to December 2018, the USD-Leone exchange rate depreciated by 64.7%, with the value of the Leone increasing from 2.98 to 8.43 against the US dollar. In contrast, under the SLPP government from December 2018 to May 2023, the depreciation percentage stood at 62.9%, as Leone’s value rose from 8.43 to 22.69 against the US dollar.

“BSL USD-Le Exchange Rate % Depreciation APC = 64.7%
Jan 07 – Dec 18
SLPP = 62.9%
Dec 18 – May 23,” the minister stated.

Sengeh emphasized the significance of considering the facts and urged the public to take into account the economic realities of both periods.

His statement challenges the former government’s claims of economic stability and highlights the relative depreciation of the Leone during the APC’s governance, despite periods of significant economic growth and iron ore booms.

As Sierra Leone approaches the 24 June general elections and citizens assess the contrasting economic performances between the two administrations, the debate over the impact of currency depreciation and its consequences on the country’s overall economy continues.