Sierra Leone: President commits to transparency in mineral revenue management & pledges to disclose beneficial owners of mining firms by 2020

Author: Abdul Rashid Thomas, Sierra Leone Telegraph, Published on: 6 November 2018

"Rogues have squandered away our wealth from mining – says president Bio"

...[P]resident Julius Maada Bio [has] called for transparency and accountability in the extractives sector, especially mining and oil exploration. [He] was addressing an audience including, president Macky Sall of Senegal, ministers from across Africa, senior government officials, officials of the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). President Bio said that the history of governance and management of the extractive industries in Africa has produced mixed results.  “In one way, revenues from the extractive industries have financed transformational development projects and infrastructure to provide social services for our citizens. In a more gruesome and tragic way, the exploitation of extractive resources has regrettably financed some of Africa’s most brutal armed conflicts. “More worryingly, rogue actors and rogue beneficiaries have squandered wealth from extractives through opaque ownership arrangements and illicit international financial flows,” he said...

He welcomed the EITI’s requirement that information on beneficial ownership be made public by 2020; and stated that Sierra Leone is fully engaged in working assiduously to meet that deadline. Highlighting the concrete steps being taken by his new administration, President Bio said that: “The Sierra Leone Minerals Policy that is now in the final stages of review, includes provisions to ensure that companies bid for licence; licenced operators in the extractive industries declare their beneficial owners and interests...“We are also reviewing the Corporate Affairs Governance Code and developing a more detailed activity and monitoring plan. Additionally, we plan extensive public information and civic engagement on the core points of reform, while building our capacity to manage the extractives sector.”

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