Yusuf Keketoma Sandi
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 May 2913
Just last week Wednesday, the Revenue Watch Institute, published its latest Resource Governance Index for 2013. The Resource Governance Index measures the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sector of 58 countries.
After almost a year of assembling 46 expert researchers who gathered original data from all 58 jurisdictions, and the findings examined by 56 peer reviewers, plus an independent review, the report for Sierra Leone and many other countries makes for uncomfortable reading. (Photo: President Koroma).
Overall, the index finds that only 11 out of the 58 countries have satisfactory standards of transparency and accountability. In the rest, the public lacks fundamental information about oil, gas and the mining sector.
Most worryingly, more than half the sample – 32 countries, do not meet even basic standards of resource governance, performing weakly or simply failing.
So the question is: what does the report say about the quality of governance in the mining and extractive sector in Sierra Leone and how does Sierra Leone compare with its neighbour Liberia?
Anthony Kamara Jnr.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 May 2013
The chairman of Sierra Leone’s National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM) – Siray A. Timbo, was recently lauded in Istanbul, Turkey, for the bold steps he is taking in addressing the country’s ICT regulation challenges.
Mr. Timbo (Photo) was attending the 8th International Electronic Communications Regulators Conference, where he was commended for his “unwavering commitment to integrity”, as he continues to lead the Commission.
The conference “ICT Today – and Beyond” brought together representatives of European, Asian, American and African ministries, agencies and institutions responsible for the functioning and development of the telecommunications industry.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 May 2013
A new report on Africa’s economic competitiveness published last week, says that the strides made by African economies in achieving economic growth, must be accompanied by efforts to boost long-term competitiveness, if the continent is to ensure sustainable improvements in living standards.
The Africa Competitiveness Report 2013, released last week by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, identifies closer regional integration as an important driver for enhancing economic competitiveness.
‘Connecting people, consolidating peace and accelerating economic transformation’, were the main themes of a high-level seminar organized by the African Development Bank in Abidjan last Monday, May 13.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 May 2013
Sierra Leone’s economy is classed amongst a group of ten African economies, whose annual growth rates have far exceeded the continent’s average of 4%.
This is largely the result of recent increase in Foreign Direct investments (FDI) and export revenue.
However, there are genuine fears that this unprecedented surge in FDI may not be sustained, especially by the Chinese, whose economic growth forecast has been recently down-graded, as industrial production slows down.
The total annual value of FDI received by Sierra Leone in the last five years, is far less than the $1 Billion expected by the government.
And this, despite the staging of a well attended international trade and investment conference organised and fronted by former British Prime Minster – Tony Blair in London in 2010.
The Chinese government has made several political gestures to increase its investment in Sierra Leone. Will the newly announced $6 billion investment materialise, or is it just another promise?
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 May 2013
African countries are gradually coming to the realization that they cannot continue to marginalize and ignore the economic potential of two-thirds of their population – women.
Although the reality for most of Africa is that women have for centuries acted as the invisible backbone of domestic subsistence, few countries have put policies in place that will harness the development potential of women.
But without access to basic utilities, such as water, electricity and telecommunications, Africa’s developmental aspirations will remain, but a dream. The empowerment of women must therefore, not only focus on educating the girl-child, but guaranteeing equal access to sustainable energy.
In the West African sub-region – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast, through the Mano River Union, have woken up to the desperate need for public policy shift towards greater access to energy for women. This is the agenda of a three-day conference, which opened earlier today at Tokeh Beach in Freetown.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 May 2013
Yenga is a potentially mineral rich territory belonging to Sierra Leone, which the despotic regime of Guinea has annexed and claimed ownership, for over a decade.
Playing a silly game of ‘finders – keepers’, successive governments in Conakry, have shown nothing but disrespect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sierra Leone.
They have treated the people of Sierra Leone with the utmost contempt.
And the leaders of Sierra Leone have displayed a total lack of courage and strength of conviction to pursue the Guineans by all means necessary, in order to reclaim Yenga.
But reports from the Manor River Union summit taking place in Monrovia, say that a decision has been reached for Sierra Leone to take back what is hers – Yenga.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 April 2013
Reigning Miss Sierra Leone USA 2013 – Ruby B. Johnson leaves the United States of America Thursday to take part in Saturday’s independence ceremony.
While in Sierra Leone she will visit school girls at all levels in order to promote her platform SHERO (Service, Health, Education, Rights, Opportunities) and will meet with Government dignitaries in Freetown.
Ms Johnson, 23, is currently studying Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia, USA, said her goal for Sierra Leone homecoming trip is to visit schools and universities and “speak with students, especially girls/women.”
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 April 2013
Report from the World Bank says that its Development Committee last Saturday endorsed the Bank’s goal to end extreme poverty within a generation as “ambitious”.
It says that this endeavour by the Bank is an “historic opportunity” to make a difference.
The Committee equally confirmed the Group’s vision to promote shared prosperity, adding that this goal must be achieved without jeopardizing the environment, magnifying economic debt or excluding vulnerable people.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 April 2013
On 2 April 2013, World Bank Group President – Jim Yong Kim outlined his ambitious agenda for ending poverty and increasing inclusive growth, as he called for ambitious new goals to help the most vulnerable.
Speaking at Georgetown University in the US, Kim said that the global community must step up work towards ending extreme poverty by 2030, and promoting shared prosperity to boost the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of the population in each country.
“We are at an auspicious moment in history when the successes of past decades and an increasingly favorable economic outlook combine to give developing countries a chance – for the first time ever – to end extreme poverty within a generation,” Kim said.
“Our duty now must be to ensure that these favourable circumstances are matched with deliberate decisions to realize this historic opportunity.”
The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 April 2013
Revenue Authority chief executives and board chairpersons representing 12 African countries have attended a seminar in South Africa, to discuss current issues relating to board governance and ways to improve governance of revenue administration.
Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, the Gambia, Lesotho, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were all represented at the event.
But missing at the seminar were the Commissioner General and the Chairman of Sierra Leone’s National Revenue Authority (NRA) – Ms. Haja Kallah Kamara and Mr. Charles A. Campbell.