Management of Mineral Resources: Evaluating Progress as Per the 2018 SLPP Manifesto
By the Sierra Leone Live Team
In the ever-evolving realm of political stewardship, it is of utmost importance to evaluate the strides taken by our leaders in meeting the promises they set out to achieve. A key component of such an analysis in our nation pertains to the crucial sector of Mineral Resources Management.
In 2018, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) laid out a detailed plan in their manifesto titled “New Direction.” This blueprint sets the course for reforming and enhancing the management of our mineral resources to foster socio-economic development. Now, after five years, it’s crucial that we assess the progress made against the goals that were set.
Sierra Leone Live is committed to providing a comprehensive, fact-based analysis of the SLPP’s achievements vis-à-vis the 2018 manifesto’s targets. In this context, we have prepared a detailed comparative study of the stated goals and the documented accomplishments in the realm of Mineral Resources Management.
To facilitate an even more interactive and engaging analysis, Sierra Leone Live will also provide a set of 25 carefully crafted questions. These questions will serve as a guide to help you, the citizens, decide whether the SLPP met its 2018 manifesto targets. Your responses will add significant value to the discussion and lead us toward a more informed consensus.
- Review the Mines and Minerals Act 2009 to realign with the Mining Policy and be consistent with international best practices. The achievement document mentions that the 2009 Mines and Minerals Act was reviewed and a new act, the Mines and Mineral Development Act of 2022, was enacted. This shows that the SLPP fulfilled its manifesto promise to review the legislation.
- Review the relevant law to allow for the establishment of a Natural Resources Account for all revenues generated from extractives. There is no specific mention of a Natural Resources Account in the achievements document, so it’s unclear if this goal has been accomplished.
- Decentralize mining revenue collection and utilization in line with the increased national decentralization programme under the New Direction. Introducing a royalty to district mining development funds and the DACDF shows decentralizing mining revenues, which aligns with this manifesto promise.
- Strengthen the National Minerals Agency (NMA). This point is not directly addressed in the achievements document, making it unclear whether the NMA was strengthened, as per the manifesto.
- Allocate percentages of revenue from the mining sector to education, health, and the general development of mining communities. There’s no direct mention of funds allocated to education, health, or the general development of mining communities. The document mentions allocations to district mining development funds and the DACDF, but it doesn’t specify the sectors these funds support.
- Ensure full transparency in the sector through complying with the EITI standards, make all contracts public, and provide updated and validated information on tax and other contributions from the mining sector to the government. According to the achievements document, the SLPP government has complied with EITI standards and has introduced tools like the MCAS and the GoSL Online Repository to improve financial transparency, which aligns with this manifesto point.
- Require mining companies to increase procurement of goods and services from Sierra Leone to strengthen trickle-down effects from the mining sector. This point is not directly addressed in the achievements document.
- Require transactions between mining companies and their affiliates to be made upon arms-length terms (including pricing). There’s no direct evidence in the achievements document that this point has been addressed.
- Discourage advance taxation except under exceptional circumstances. They do not address this point in the achievements document.
- Ensure that companies provide meaningful employment for Sierra Leoneans, especially in management positions, and carry out requisite training. The total number of mining sector jobs has increased by 73%, and over 200 Engineering and Geology graduates were supported with advanced training, showing progress in this area.
- Put in place policies and mechanisms to support value additions to our mineral resources. There’s no explicit mention of value additions in the achievements document.
- Ensure that all mining companies comply with the local content policy. While this point is not addressed directly, the increase in large and small-scale mining companies may suggest some level of local content policy compliance.
- Enforce corporate social responsibility in all mining activities. This point is not directly addressed in the achievements document.
While some significant strides seem to have been made to the mining sector policy and legislation, transparency, and job creation, there are several areas where the achievements document doesn’t provide explicit information to confirm if the goals outlined in the 2018 manifesto have been met. It would require further information or data to complete a comprehensive comparison.
As stewards of our beloved Sierra Leone, our collective efforts in examining our leaders’ accomplishments will only strengthen our nation’s democratic foundation. A vibrant democracy thrives on the active participation of its citizens, and your input is invaluable in this process.
Thank you for taking the time to delve into this critical analysis and for contributing to our national discourse. Your contribution will not only help us understand the current state of affairs better but also shape the path for the future.
Please note that the survey, comprising the aforementioned 25 questions, will be provided in a separate post. We eagerly look forward to your insightful responses, as we all continue to work together for a better and brighter Sierra Leone.
Thank you once again, and may we continue to seek, together, the prosperity of our nation.