sharing in governance of extractive industries

Sierra Leone students highly engaged in resource governance

The Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone organized a one day public lecture on the Natural Resources Charter (NRC).The oldest university of West Africa (established in 1827) is again at the forefront of the transformation of Sierra Leone, which has resumed the export of iron ore in 2011.

Photo: The photo is showing Dr. Peter Eigen, the Founder of Transparency International and a member of the Africa Progress Panel discussing with over 400 students at FBC on the relevant of incorporating Natural Resources Charter in the governance of Sierra Extractive Industry.

The aim of the public lecture was to raise public understanding on the relevance of incorporating the 12 precepts of the NRC in the S/L extractive sector and to identify entry points for young academia (university students) in the improvement of the governance of the natural resources in S/L.The guest and keynote speaker was Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen, who is the founder of Transparency International, a member of the African Progress Panel, and the former Chairman of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). Speaking at the public lecture, Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen stated that successful natural resource management requires government accountability to an informed public. The Chief of Staff was present to give a statement and answer students’ questions.
Prior to the public lecture, 12university students formed research groups on the 12 precepts of the NRC tocontextualize them with the situation in Sierra Leone. The students, representing various departments at Fourah Bay College spearheaded by the department of Peace and Conflict Resolution,presented their findings during the public lecture.
The public lecture was held on the 3rd July 2013 at the Fourah Bay College Campus. Statements were made by various personalities:
 The chairman, Mr. Desmond George Williams, Lecturer of the Natural Governance and Conflict Management Module at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies explained the objectives and relevance of the public lecture to students or academics and all stakeholders present.
 Dr. Marcel Nwalozie (Director West Africa of the New Partnership for African Development/NEPAD) made a statement regarding the need for assertive regional cooperation with the governance of natural resources in the West Africa sub-region.
 Madam Memunatu Pratt(Head of Department, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone) highlighted the link between good natural resources governance and conflict prevention.
 The Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Konteh, representing the Office of the President and the government of Sierra Leone, stated that natural resources in S/L have the potential of promoting socio-economic development and political stability for the wellbeing of all Sierra Leoneansand committed government support to the incorporation of the NRC precepts inthe S/L resources regime for the proper governance of the extractive industries. He further encouraged students to stay engaged in the public debate.
The student research groups made the following recommendations to realize the huge potential enshrined in the natural resources of Sierra Leone:
• The full implementation of existing laws and policies, such as the Mines and Minerals Act and the Local Content Policy
• Development of a legal framework on natural resources governance by regional/sub regional bodies
• Incorporation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the governance of the S/L Extractive Industry
• Regular communication between Government, civil society and mining host communities
• Mining Companies’ effective implementation of their CSR strategies
• Opening entry points for students and young people to participate in the governance of the extractive industry of Sierra Leone
• Establishment of a constructive and effective conflict resolution mechanism in the extractive sector in Sierra Leone
• Establishment of a Natural Resources Fund for current and future generations.
The public lecture was supported by the regional resource governance project of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (http://www.giz.de/themen/en/29809.htm). To get more information and contact the students directly, please write to Joseph Smith (jsmithcpn@yahoo.co.uk).

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Comment by Alan Wolfe on July 23, 2013 at 8:11

Thanks Joseph. We'd be very interested to hear of any developments regarding the participation of students and young people in the governance aspects. 

Comment by John Momo on July 20, 2013 at 15:03

Thanks for sharing this Joseph. Please continue to keep us posted!

Comment by Eva Kirch on July 19, 2013 at 10:42

Well done Joseph, so glad this is happening! Good work!! 


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