By Josephine Saidu
A six-man delegation from the Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SLEITI) is in Monrovia, Liberia on a five-day study visit to learn from their Liberian counterparts experience on how to better implement the EITI process. The Liberian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI), which has garnered global recognition, has made remarkable achievements with the EITI. The visit therefore will present an opportunity for SLEITI to gain a better understanding of the process.
The tour, which is funded by the government of Sierra Leone with support from the German International Corporation (GIZ), is undertaken by two staff of the SLEITI Secretariat and representatives of the Multi Stakeholders Group (MSG) from the Ministry of Finance, National Minerals Agency, Civil Society Orgainsation and the extractive companies.
At a welcome dinner on Monday at the Mamba Point Restaurant in Monrovia, the outgoing National Coordinator of LEITI – who is now the EITI Regional Coordinator for West Africa – Samson Tokpah, congratulated Sierra Leone for achieving compliance. He thanked the MSG and the government of Sierra Leone for putting on a good fight to ensure that the country achieves this status, which he noted is important in the EITI process.
Mr. Tokpah also appreciated the visiting team for choosing Liberia to acquire knowledge on how to better implement the EITI. He pointed out that the LEITI team will also learn from the SLEITI and hoped that the sessions will be useful for both countries to move forward with the process.
In her response, acting head of the SLEITI, Mina Horace, thanked LEITI for their hospitality. She recalled that Sierra Leone was declared EITI Compliant on 26th April 2014 and moving forward, the Multi Stakeholder Group has to ensure that the country remains compliant and develop a strengthened approach towards implementing the EITI.
It is for this and many other reasons that SLEITI has embarked on this journey which is the first activity after attaining compliance, Madam Horace said and looked forward to a successful study tour with the hope that the required objectives of the visit will be met.
The team continued its study on Tuesday with a hectic schedule where they met with key and prominent stakeholders in the Liberian extractive sector.