On behalf of my Government and the people of Sierra Leone, I am pleased to inform the international mining community that Sierra Leone is ready for business.
The minerals sector remains critically important to our country, contributing between 20-25% of GDP. Our country is richly endowed with mineral resources such as iron ore, gold, diamond, bauxite, rutile, ilmenite, zircon, chromite and columbite - tantalite (coltan). The presence of these deposits represents major opportunities for potential investors and the country to derive optimal benefits from the extracting, processing and exporting of these minerals.
To realise these opportunities, my Government has committed itself to create the right environment to convince investors to take that great leap to invest in a sector that is under siege and in a continent renowned for its unpredictability. An environment where international investors can be confident that they will have the support of Government to navigate the pitfalls and take advantage of opportunities for creativity and innovation.
We are reviewing our mining policies and laws to establish a comprehensive governance framework for the mining sector to ensure a win-win situation for the government, mining companies and local communities. This framework will position our institutions, the laws, the regulations, the fiscal regime and practices governing the operations of the mining sector to guarantee good returns on investments and benefits to our people.
Our tax regime is internationally competitive to ensure fair return on investment and guarantee meaningful revenue for government. We recently enacted the Extractive Industries Revenue Act, 2018 to consolidate the fiscal requirements of our investors and ease the burden of keeping up with financial obligations.
These reforms will address the many governance challenges of the past, and create a favourable, stable and predictable investment climate. By clearly defining procedures and streamlining processes, we shall reduce the risks associated with wide discretionary powers and corruption.
We are essentially reducing the regulatory and political risk uncertainties long associated with African mining investments. We have shifted our thinking towards looking at all policy initiatives with a dual lens: seeing it from both the perspective of the Government and the perspective of the investor.
We have also taken steps to improve energy access and develop our infrastructure. We are building and expanding our bridges and road networks; and continue to improve on electricity, water supply and communication systems. I take this opportunity to extend an open invitation to Investors to come to Sierra Leone and get the unique experience of doing business in a friendly and stress-free environment.