Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Sustainable Development: Diamonds, Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sierra Leone

Prof Tony Binns,
Dr Roy Maconachie
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Sierra Leone has recently emerged from a long period of political instability and civil war, and is currently ranked as the world’s poorest country. A process of reconstruction and rehabilitation is now underway, to restore livelihoods, repair damaged infrastructure and rebuild the economy. The sustainable development of valuable mineral resources and the restoration of rural production systems and food security are important priorities. The paper examines the post-war reconstruction scenario, and presents evidence from communities in the Eastern Province that were badly affected by the conflict. Future development is likely to be dependent on the effective use of wealth from diamond mining at all levels of economy and society. Although some progress is being made, the pace of change is slow, and the threat of a return to instability is a common concern among communities and organizations.

Keywords: Sierra Leone, civil war, post-conflict reconstruction, rural development, diamond mining
Stream: Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Sustainable Development

Prof Tony Binns

Ron Lister Chair of Geography, Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand

Tony Binns joined the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand in October 2004, having worked at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, since 1975. His research has focused on issues relating to community-based development mainly in Africa. Over the past 30 years he has researched and written about; irrigation development in Morocco, rural development and diamond mining in Sierra Leone, pressures facing pastoralists in Nigeria, export food production in Gambia and Kenya, urban agriculture in Nigeria, and post-apartheid community-based development in South Africa. He is particularly interested in the interface between people and environment in the development context. He has written or edited 12 books, and over 60 refereed journal articles.

Dr Roy Maconachie

Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

Ref: S06P0134