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NMA promotes transparency & accountability

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NMA promotes transparency & accountability

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The Sierra Leone resource contracts repository is an online portal specifically designed for mining agreements, policies and regulations.

Director General of National Mineral Agency (NMA),  Sahr Wonday explained that their vision is to maximize benefits for Sierra Leoneans, from the country’s mineral resources and that their main focus is  to become a world class professional and technical regulatory body that will serve and develop the mineral sector.

Wonday disclosed that NMA has six set objectives which are economic development of the mineral sector, maximize government revenue through minerals sector activity, to ensure full compliances with the laws and regulations pertaining to the sector, promote and enforce responsible and sustainable minerals management, exploration, mining and trading, becoming a global leader in mining transparency and accountability and to become a world class, high performance industry and accountability.

Sahr Wonday highlighted “since commencement of operations in 2013, we have worked closely with the government of Sierra Leone and development partners to transform the minerals sector. Today’s workshop is to update you on three of several projects we have completed to date.”

Director of Community Affairs, Communication and Public Relations, Ibrahim Satti Kamara established that “The workshop is aimed at training civil society organizations and journalists to understand how to make use of the many sources of information available on the online repository.”
NMA Geological Data and Information Manager, Emmanuel Lansana explained that resources contracts were designed for it to be providing an update on the operations of the Agency and that it can be access online via their website.

Emmanuel Lansana maintained that before this time there were no open data systems available to the public, he reiterated  that the training was organized to empower journalists and civil society organizations in order for them to access contract documents that were shelved  in the cabinets of various public offices.
He further stated that mining agreements are available and accessible at the NMA website as he revealed that there are 1490 contracts and supporting documents uploaded from 89 countries and 45 resources at www.resourcecontracts.org.
Currently, Sierra Leone has placed 13 documents on the website, and the country’s currently signed up to the global portal. Emmanuel said that plans are ongoing to upload more documents that would foster accountability and transparency in the country’s mining sector.

Documents online at the moment include: Koidu Holdings SA, Concession, 2010; London Mining Company, Environmental Impact Assessment, 2012; and Sierra Rutile Concession, 2002.

A Consultant from the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Tehtena Mebratu Tsegaye detailed the importance of understanding a mining contract signed between the government and mining companies stating that it would be good for one to understand the set standard of a contract and the legal framework contained in a contract and how it would be beneficial to the people and those that are involved.

Coordinator of National Coalition on Extractives, Cecilia Mattia said the online repository will serve as a credible platform that would essential for civil society organizations and the media institution to source probable information on the extractive sector.

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