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Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone will produce Oil in 2017 says Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff in the office of the President has declared that Sierra Leone will become an oil producing country in 2017 given the country’s rich potential in the mineral.
Dr. Richard Conteh who was representing President Ernest Bai Koroma made this declaration yesterday, Tuesday, 2nd July 2013 at the start of a Mining, Energy/Oil and Gas infrastructure INDABA conference and exhibition held at the Miatta Conference hall, in Freetown.
Dr. Conteh in his keynote address described Sierra Leone as “the top reformer” in West Africa for the year 2013 while he recounted the country’s strides in the consolidation and maintenance of democracy, given the free, fair, credible and peaceful multi-tier election she conducted recently.
He said Sierra Leone is rich in minerals with a huge potential in oil and gas. He acknowledged the country as one of the fastest growing economies in the world with what he said is “an excellent touristic potential which he urged potential investors to explore while in the country.
The President’s representative at the conference stressed that the Agenda for Prosperity which is the flagship of government’s socio-economic development agenda can only succeed when the economy turns vibrant and buoyant. The Chief of Staff posited that in order to achieve this economic growth, government is ensuring that the enabling environment is being put in place as assurance to potential investors.
Dr. Conteh therefore extended an open invitation to potential investors wherever they may be and welcomed those present at the conference to explore the vast investment opportunities that the country provides.
He however appealed to the investors to open employment opportunities for ordinary Sierra Leoneans as a way to address the country unemployment challenge and as a way of contribution towards the improvement of the condition of life and standard of living of the people.
He called the INDABA, “a collaborative effort” between the government of Sierra Leone and the Mapita Mining and Industrial Service Suppliers.
One of the facilitators, Adeyomi Rodney-Sandy the Chief Executive Officer of Rafzee Business Support Services, one of the promoters of the conference, told the gathering that the concept for the conference was developed six months ago and expressed overwhelming gratification as to “the success” of its outcome. He also expressed gratitude to all those who played part in the facilitation process that have ensure that “this First Energy, Mining, Oil and Gas Conference is well attended,” he noted. He acknowledged “the many challenges still facing the mining industry” and called for steadfastness, dedication, collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders in order to realize their collective success in the industry.
Mr. Rodney-Sandy reminded stakeholders about the impact of oil mining on the environment, noting that inasmuch as stakeholders are striving to win more investments in the oil and gas sector, they should also be mindful of the need for compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment once they prepare to go into operations. This, he noted will engender good relationship with the ordinary people. He stated that this aspect of their investment “is very central” to the good working relationships between mining companies and the people.
In his statement, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), Patrick Coker said the agency was established with the aim to make business environment in the country friendly and conducive for investors, sell the investment and trade potentials of the country to investors so as to attract more foreign direct investment. He described the INDABA initiative as “a very good example” that is in line with the general aim of promoting the development of the country’s economy.
Statements were made by Mike Jones, the Head of External Communications at Africa Minerals, Dr. A. Baldeh of the Africa Development Bank (ADB) and a representative from ATI.

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