Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Sustainable Development: Diamonds, Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sierra Leone
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
Prof Tony Binns
Ron Lister Chair of Geography, Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Dr Roy Maconachie
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex