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SLEITI engages Western Rural District with 2017-2018 reports

September 24, 2020
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The Sierra Leone Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SLEITI), on Tuesday September 22nd engaged stakeholders in the Western Rural District on their nationwide sensitisation and dissemination of their 2017 and 2018 reports.

EITI is a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sectors and Sierra Leone became a member in 2007.
Sierra Leone joined the EITI to promote transparency and accountability in the management of its minerals and oil/gas sectors and later established the SLEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group comprising government ministries, mining companies and civil society representatives to oversee the SLEITI process.
It could also be recalled that very few individuals have benefited from the mineral of the country instead of the majority Sierra Leoneans since the discovery of minerals in Sierra Leone in the 1930s.
Speaking at the event at the Waterloo Western Rural District Council Hall, Development Planning Officer in the Western Area District, Maurice George Ellie said the local council is in charge of development in their jurisdiction and communities, noting that Diamond was discovered in Sierra Leone in 1930 and that was the time mining started officially in the country.
He said the mineral of the country belongs to every Sierra Leonean which was why it is important to have such report that speaks to how people are benefiting from those minerals.
Representative from the Security Sector, Lieutenant Colonel Alex Kamara, thanked the SLEITI for taking the report to the people, stating that the mining sector has a huge challenge in terms of security and their role is to ensure that they maintain law and order in those communities.
Civil Society Representative, Doris Fatima Webber also thanked  SLEIETI for taking the report to the people and giving them the opportunity to contribute and asked questions.
She said they also have sand and stone mining in the western rural that is also causing damage to their communities, thus calling on the SLEITI to include all those infect in their reports.
In her statement, the Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President, Frances Alghali, said one of the aims of the government is to observe international standards that will encourage investors to come into the country.
She said the country joins the EITI in 2007, stating that that since the current government took powers the EITI international body was pleased with their first report.
She said they have observed that their reports are taking too long to be launched and taken to the people and assured that they are putting things in place to ensure that the report does not take long any more.
She said they have taken the report to the provinces and have now come to end it in the western rural district and western urban district.
She said they wanted to ensure that people in mining communities benefit directly from money given to them by mining companies, noting that for such to happen it needs collaboration from all sectors.
In his presentation, the National Coordinator of SLEITI, Mohamed B. Koroma says the SLEITI fosters transparency and accountability, attracts investment opportunities by improving investment climate, contributes to public debate and ensures that citizens are better informed and involved in mining processes.
He said the impact of the EITI in Sierra Leone is that it provides platform for debates on the managements of the extractive sector and also contributing to reforms in the sector.
He said the SLEITI data available aid Civil society in their advocacy work, greater accountability by the Government, companies, made mining contract transparency, improved coordination amongst state entities and capacity building efforts leading to better understanding of the sector.
In his presentation titled Maximizing the benefits of Mining to Local, Communication Officer at SLEITI, Mohamed Fanado Conteh, says the mining sector can bring significant economic benefits to a country including generating fiscal revenue and export earnings, relieving constraints to investment.
He also stated that its drives economic growth and job creation and contribute to building physical infrastructure.
He said revenue from the extractive industry can account for a large proportion of fiscal revenue.
He said Sierra Leone revenue from the mining sector increased from 149 billion Leones (0.5%) of the GDP in 2017 to 222.7 billion Leones (0.7%) of the GDP in 2018, noting that the increase was as a result of improved collection of mineral royalties and license.
He further noted that the real GDP growth was estimated at 3.8 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018.

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