From the Editor’s Keyboard

Tax Incentives and the Suffering Masses of Sierra Leone

By  | 8 May 2014 at 16:52 | 1356 views

This week, we re-publish a look at tax incentives offered to foreign mining and agribusiness companies operating in Sierra Leone. A report, released recently by the international NGO, Christian Aid, has bad news for us. Christian Aid has done a thorough study of the tax incentives offered to some foreign companies by the Sierra Leone government and has concluded that those incentives are way too much and are not in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone but in the interest of the foreign companies concerned and, we would like to add, their collaborators in the government of Sierra Leone.

We fully support President Ernest Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity but will not support a situation in which foreign companies come into the country, take our land and natural resources and become billionaires overnight while our people continue to suffer and die in poverty.

In their report, Christian Aid argues that the current tax incentives will not do the country any good and should be reviewed; that the mining agreements, which were negotiated "behind closed doors" by government officials in the former and current government, need to be made public to the media, civil society and other interested parties. The Christian Aid report is similar in many ways to the Human Rights Watch report on the African Minerals company operating in Bumbuna, northern Sierra Leone. We note, with interest, the fact that only one mining company operating in Sierra Leone, London Mining, responded to questions from Christian Aid for this study.

The Christian Aid report, which follows, consists of several pages and we would like to advise readers to print it first to make easy reading. Read or print the report by clicking here: