Sierra Leone has diamonds, rutile, bauxite and iron ore to list but a few. It has enormous natural potentials which among many, Germany does not have. But there are no capacities and prudent political actions to harness these natural endowments for the purpose of development in Sierra Leone’
This was mentioned yesterday by Mr. Uwe Kekeritz, Member of the German Parliament/ German Bundestag, who also doubles as Chairman of the Sub-committee for Health in Developing countries during a visit of five German Members of Parliament to Sierra Leone’s House of Parliament.
“Mining agreements are so flexible that revenues earned by the Sierra Leone government for its resources are nothing to write home about,” said Mr. Kekeritz. Companies operating in European countries or elsewhere in the West pay far higher taxes than those in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone MPs nodded their heads continually as the German MP unfolded his views of the root causes of Sierra Leone’s state of poverty.
For example, Kekeritz said he has travelled to Kono District where he witnessed poverty and devastation.
Billions of dollars worth of gems were mined from Kono’s diamond fields. Yet it remains one of the country’s most impoverished districts, with poor medical facilities, schools and roads, and sky-high levels of social problems such as crime, teenage pregnancy and unemployment.
Deputy Speaker, Hon. Chuckwuma Johnson who received the delegation, said Sierra Leone’s governments had probably made mistakes in managing its resources in the past.
‘We should always learn from mistakes we have made in the past to correct our future,’ said Hon. Johnson.
The visit of the German MPs to Sierra Leone’s Parliament was primarily to strengthen the diplomatic and bilateral relationship existing between the two countries, and share common values and strategies at Parliamentary levels that are necessary for development in Sierra Leone.
By Poindexter Sama