UK announces $50 million in loans to Sierra Leone businesses

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The UK government has announced a new plan to support medium sized businesses in Sierra Leone with loans as a part of its continued support of Sierra Leone’s ebola recovery. This new deal done in partnership with Standard Chatered and The CDC Group plc – the UK’s Development Finance Institution will make $50 million available to entrepreneurs for short term loans and overdrafts.

“The new support is likely to assist Sierra Leonean businesses providing key supplies such as rice, flour, cooking oil, sugar, building materials, hygiene and petroleum products – many of which are critical to Ebola relief efforts.”

No word yet on when these funds will become available, or whether the interest rates will be at current Bank of Sierra Leone lending rates. The average interest rate set by the Bank was 21% for the last 14 years.

It is good that funds are being made available to assist with post ebola economic recovery but it is the conditions of the loans that will determine whether this is a good deal to support local business or just another CDC money making scheme.

The CDC Group plc was formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation, and previous to that, the Colonial Development Corporation.