By Saidu Jalloh

At the 4th Edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Oil Forum in Benin, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Umaru Napoleon Koroma, has emerged as a leading advocate for the reform of mining agreements in the region. Amid longstanding criticisms of multinational investments leaving African countries economically deprived, Koroma’s call for the harmonization of mining laws and regulatory frameworks has garnered attention.

Highlighting the disparity in benefits between investors and host countries, Koroma emphasized the need for a paradigm shift towards “model contract laws.” These laws, he argued, would ensure a fair distribution of benefits from mineral resources and empower nations to negotiate effectively with mining corporations.

In his address, Koroma criticized conventional concession agreements, which often favor investors at the expense of national interests. He pointed out that investors leverage competition among countries to secure favorable terms, disregarding the economic consequences for the host nations.

Koroma’s impassioned plea for reform resonated strongly at the two-day event, earning him widespread acclaim for his insightful contributions. His proposal for model contract laws signals a departure from ineffective guidelines and aims to align the interests of both nations and investors with the aspirations of their populations.

With Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister leading the charge, the forum has witnessed a renewed urgency to address the longstanding challenges facing the mining sector in West Africa. As discussions continue, stakeholders are hopeful that Koroma’s vision for equitable resource governance will pave the way for sustainable development and prosperity across the region.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here