On June 12 2017, Sierra Leone launched a collateral registry for movable assets. The collateral registry will improve access to credit for micro, small and medium businesses in Sierra Leone. As in many other Sub Saharan African countries, access to credit is a major challenge for small businesses in Sierra Leone. With the operationalization of the collateral registry, Sierra Leone's MSMEs can now utilize their movable assets, such as receivables, inventory, livestock, crops, and motor vehicles, to secure loans. This will unlock new sources of capital for farmers, entrepreneurs, and businesses in Sierra Leone, thus contributing to private sector growth. Lenders can register a security interest over a debtor's movable property in the collateral registry. They can also search the collateral registry for any encumbrances over movable assets that are offered as collateral.
The collateral registry was developed with the support of the World Bank Group and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development. NatLaw's Dr. Marek Dubovec advised the Bank of Sierra Leone in the design and implementation of the collateral registry, as well as in the drafting of the collateral registry regulations. With the launch of the collateral registry, Sierra Leone joins Malawi, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia in the list of African countries that have established an electronic, notice-based, collateral registry for movable assets. The collateral registry has already shown encouraging signs, as 72 registrations have been made over various types of collateral since the registry went live on December 21, 2016.