The value of the leone has been declining since the early 1980s. The leone was formerly linked to the pound sterling. Its value is now determined largely by the export earnings of the country. Since the country does not earn a great deal from its external trade, the IMF and the World Bank constantly encourage the country to reduce government spending in order to maintain a balanced budget. The Sierra Leone economy has undergone several IMF economic and financial policies aimed at improving the value of the leone in relation to other currencies of the world. A stronger leone is supposed to translate into a stronger economy. However, the outcome has often been high inflation (a weak currency in terms of exchange rates ) and a great deal of leone fluctuations, mostly downwards.
|Exchange rates: Sierra Leone|
|leones (Le) per US$1|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Dem. Rep. of Congo||392||313||293||247||127|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|