In 2014, over a span of 15 months, with the exception of the Ivory Coast, the Ebola Virus Epidemic (EVE) struck the community of the MRU region in West Africa, severely impacting three of its’ four member states (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea). It was a crisis that undoubtedly overwhelmed the capacity of the region and underscored the delicate balance of interdependence between world markets and peoples everywhere. With the help of the international community to significantly contain the spread of the virus, it became readily apparent that the abundantly rich in natural resources MRU region, was in dire need of rebuilding itself as more than 11,300 lives were lost and many other thousands victimized and traumatized (World Health Organization [WHO], 2015; United States Centers for Disease Control [US-CDC], 2015). With billions of dollars in losses, the impact of the EVE ruined social prosperity and left massive economic paralysis for a region still recovering from an infamous 14-year civil conflict that started from Liberia and later spread throughout the MRU basin.
Post Ebola initiative for these affected countries constitutes a complex adaptive challenge that requires the continuous help of the international community for a sustainable future.
The epidemic reflects the need for continued financial and institutional capacity building in the MRU that would provide business and investment opportunities as private and public sector leaders attempt to prevent or better mitigate such epidemics moving forward.