Sierra Leone in uphill battle to avoid "resource curse"
Author: Simon Akam, Reuters, Published on: 25 January 2012
Sierra Leone holds some of the world's richest iron ore deposits, but [it] lies in the midst of a region seemingly cursed by its rich natural resources. Its own diamond mines are believed to have funded rebels during the war...In an effort to head off similar problems, Sierra Leone's cabinet passed legislation to create a new National Minerals Agency, a separate body that would handle regulation and leave a slimmer mines ministry to focus on policy. The government has also set up public web sites detailing mining revenues and government expenditures and has consulted on policy with officials in nearby Ghana...But Sierra Leone's ability to manage the revenue has been undermined by a slew of scandals, including allegations the vice president's office accepted a bribe in return for an illegal timber deal. [refers to London Mining, African Minerals]