The Governance Commission (CG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has conducted a one – day policy dialogue in Monrovia.It brought together major stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the Artisanal Mining sector of Liberia on Wednesday, 19 December.
The one day policy dialogue was held under the theme: “The Effective Management of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM)” to enhance economic growth and development here in Liberia.
At the dialogue, GC Commissioner Ms. Elizabeth Dorkin indicated that the Government of Liberia over the years has found difficulties in properly governing the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector.
This sector is being recognized by the World Bank as a mechanism of poverty alleviation in developing countries.The new GC Commissioner reveals that the dialogue focused on four key thematic areas.
They include managing Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector in Liberia for effective revenue generation, the Restructuring of Liberia Artisanal and Small – scale Mining sector and its integration into the value chain taxation.She names the other areas as environment damage and related health impacts of Artisanal and Small- scale Mining sector.
Commissioner Dorkin told the audience that Artisanal and Small-scale Mining is an essential component of development and a major source for revenue for rural communities.She explains how it provides income for investment to enhance job opportunities under the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP) of President Weah.
“The development of the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector will contribute to job creation, economic growth and increase in government revenue under this regime,” she adds.
For his part the Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Mines and Energy Mr. Emmanuel O. Sherman expressed delight over the conduct of the dialogue.
Serving as proxy Minister Gelster E. Murray, Mr. Sherman applauded the GC, and said Artisanal and Small-scale Mining sector (ASM) is experiencing an exponential growth in Liberia due to the rising value of precious minerals commodities and the increase and quest to improve the lifestyle of citizens.
Mr. Sherman however laments that management of the ASM sector is characterized by many challenges, expressing confidence that the gathering for the dialogue will achieve it’s intended purpose.
The dialogue brought together officials of government from line ministries and agencies, development partners including USAID, EU, GIZ, USAID-LEVI, MFDP, NIC, EPA, Miners Association of Liberia, and Liberia Diamond and Gold Dealers Association, among others.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley