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sharing in governance of extractive industries

The Extractive Transparency Accountability Group (ETAG) at Fourah Bay College - A meaningful example that the student voice at the University of Sierra Leone has not disappeared

INTRODUCTION TO THE EXTRACTIVE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP (ETAG)

Sierra Leone is a natural resource rich country but still experiencing the paradox of plenty since 1930 when diamond was first discovered and export begins. Natural resources are meant to benefit the socio-economic wellbeing of the people and the natural environment, but the majority of Sierra Leoneans has not realized this benefit much as its people remain in abject absolute poverty. Natural resources since 1930 have created several communal and inter-communal conflicts as well as fueled the ten years of armed conflict in the country. As a result, at the end of the civil war in 2002, many efforts have been applied by the government and International development partners (such as GIZ, IBIS, World Bank,  UNDP USAID, DIFD, RDF, Action Aid International, etc. etc.) this also includes local civil society (such as CGG) and non-governmental organizations  (such as NMJD) to promote the good governance of the extractive industry so that the natural resources in Sierra Leone can be a blessing to the people and the natural environment or addressing the paradox of plenty in Sierra Leone. Through reformation of mining laws, regulations, policies, Initiative, Vision, research work, and advocacy.

However, with all these efforts in natural resources management, Young People - specifically University Students have not been contributing in the new trend in the extractive industry of Sierra Leone.

BACKGROUND TO EXTRACTIVE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP

Based on this gap, some students who are both under-graduates and post-graduates from the University of Sierra Leone have thought it good to participate in promoting the good governance of the sector and the prudent management and use of revenue coming from the mining sector for the wellbeing of the people and the natural environment as well as preventing the scramble and violent conflicts over the natural resources in our post war country. Therefore, these set of students have formed a group called “The Extractive Transparency and Accountability Group (ETAG) through which they can bring to action their desire to promote transparency, accountability and extractive debates through advocacy for the implementation and the harmonization of mining laws, policies, regulations, Principles, Charters, Vision etc. The use of  various activities (Public Lecture on the NRC, Radio discussion on the AMV, Research work on the NRC etc are also ways this students can champion their objectives.

OBJECTIVES OF ETAG

For the purpose of ETAG project, the following shall be its key objectives:

  1. To contribute and to create a forum for public debates on various policies, laws, Initiative, Vision and community development issues in the extractive industries of Sierra Leone.
  2. To empower University Students and youths to participate in the good governance of natural resources in Sierra Leone.
  3. To engage stakeholders especially, duties bearers and mineral rights holders (Government Officials and mining companies) on issues of contracts transparency and the well management of revenues coming from the sector for the benefits of everybody
  4. To proffer recommendations to stakeholders (Government, Mining Companies, Development Partners) on how to approach challenges faced in the extractive industries of Sierra Leone.

JUSTIFICATION OF THE PROJECT

It is very clear and factual that young people in Sierra Leone do not have a stake or are not fully knowledgeable about the debates in the good governance of the mining sector in Sierra Leone, as compared to other natural resources rich countries (such as Ghana and South Africa) and also young people do not have the forum to contribute to the well management and the prevention of conflicts around natural resources extraction and exportation in Sierra Leone. Thus, the youth role is very absent in the stakeholder’s input towards good governance in the extractive sector of our country.Therefore, the activities of the Extractive Transparency and Accountability Group (ETAG) will support to create the plain level ground and/or will serve as a forum for young people to contribute and to hold officials responsible for the according mining contracts, and the management of revenues derived from the sector. To a larger extent, this project gives access for youths to contribute in addressing the paradox of plenty in the governance of the extractive industries in post-war Sierra Leone.

STRATEGY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PROJECT

The Extractive Transparency and Accountability Group (ETAG) will use the following as it strategies for achieving it objectives.

  • Use of Public Lectures on key issues around the extractive sector
  • Organized community conferencing on major issues affecting the mining host community people
  • Make official visits and call on key government official to address the challenges in the sector
  • Organizes Press Conferences on key issues on the community development and protection of the Human Rights of people.
  • Do academic research on the extractive sector.
  • Advocate for youths capacity building in mining, oil and gas through support to the natural resources modules at the University

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Comment by Joseph Smith on May 1, 2014 at 6:12

Thanks Audrey Cash, for your nice comment! ETAG is really a great student's group on mining, oil and gas Industries in Sierra Leone. Transparency and Prudent management of the revenue coming from the Extractive and Energy sectors are very import for addressing the "Paradox of Plenty". ETAG hold the view that young people own the future of our country and therefore resources if manage well (Addressing socio-economic needs, Infrastructures, etc) young people will be the most beneficiaries. So we engage stakeholders constructively.  

Comment by Audrey Cash on April 29, 2014 at 18:52

Looks like a great group - best of luck!

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