By Jane B. Mansaray.
As the World Bank celebrates fifty five (55) years of partnership with Sierra Leone (1962 to 2017), the World Bank Country Manager in Sierra Leone, Parminder Brar has vowed to double and increase support Sierra Leone by one hundred percent in various areas including mining.
This was disclosed yesterday by the World Bank’s Parminder Brar at a press conference held at their head office on Spur Road in Freetown.
The purpose of the briefing was to inform journalists about the twenty Million United States Dollars (US$20) the government of Sierra Leone received yesterday through the International Development Association (IDA) grant for the second phase of the Extractive Industries Technical Assistance Project (EITAP2).
This project, according to Brar is to help strengthen governance, increase geological knowledge and support to the artisanal mining sector in the country.
He said the first phase of the project which lasted from 2009 to 2016, laid the foundation for improved governance in the mining sector that attracted new investments and at the same time brought achievements that support and provided for the creation of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) that regulates the mining industry.
Mr. Brar told journalists that the objective of the follow on project is to continue to build on the improvements and strengthen the mineral sector with its legal and regulatory frameworks, and supporting the implementation of the recently updated Minerals Policy and Artisanal Mining Policy incorporating the principles of the African Mining Vision (AMV) adopted by the African Heads of State in 2009.
He said the project seeks to further enhance geological knowledge, including building Sierra Leone geological infrastructure by supporting the government to conduct an airborne geophysical survey of the whole country as well as complete the coverage of geological maps of Sierra Leone.
The World Bank Country Manager assured Sierra Leoneans of double support with new projects for the next three years in specific private sector with 2.5 Billion dollars for fragile countries like Sierra Leone and over improving mining sector in governance.
He said the new project will also fund the piloting of a green gold branding to promote cleaner gold production processes amongst artisanal miners, and help the country improve value from its resource endowment and also benefit the citizens and artisanal mining communities from improved environmental protection.
Director Geological Survey in the National Minerals Agency (NMA) Mr. Prince Cuffey also made a contributing statement.