Sierra Leone’s Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Delegation attends Russia’s SPIEF 2024 and signs MOU.*

Korovy Val Moscow, June 14 2024*- Russia’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2024 saw significant participation from various African nations, including the Republic of Sierra Leone. The Sierra Leonean delegation was led by the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Hon. Julius Daniel Mattai, accompanied by 1st Deputy Minister of Finance, Kadiatu Allie; Ambassador to the Russia, Mohamed Yongawo; and officials from the National Minerals Agency (NMA).

The highlight of Sierra Leone’s participation was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources and Zarubezhgeologia JSC of Russia. The primary objective of the MOU is to undertake comprehensive geoscientific studies to enhance the findings of the Nationwide Airborne Geophysical Survey that was completed in 2021. Actions are underway to establish technical working groups to flesh out detailed implementation plans.

Minister Mattai stressed the importance of adding value to mineral resourc
es through the entire value chain, from exploration, mining, processing, manufacturing to use and reuse. He further noted that the SPIEF 2024 MOU with Zarubezhgeologia JSC will help Sierra Leone better inventory and understand its mineral resources, facilitating access to better financing and investment opportunities.

SPIEF, which is held annually in St. Petersburg since 1997 and under the Russian President’s auspices since 2006, is a premier event for the economic sector, attracting over 10,000 participants from more than 120 countries. The Forum fosters dialogue among global business leaders, political figures, and policymakers to address economic challenges and promote international cooperation.

Among several other engagements, Minister Mattai participated in sessions hosted by ALROSA, the global diamond conglomerate, Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency (Rosnedra).

During one of the sessions, the eloquent Minister Mattai underlined S
ierra Leone’s challenges in providing clean water despite abundant water resources. Only 2% of the nearly 8 million population have access to reliable clean water, with rapid urbanisation, mining and agriculture contributing to water pollution.

The Minister of Mines underscored government efforts in addressing the water problems emphasizing the need for better water resources and sanitation management policies and encouraged collaboration with Russia government and private agencies for technical assistance.

Minister Mattai discussed Sierra Leone’s potential in the exploration and exploitation of critical energy transition minerals (e g., lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, coltan, rare earth minerals, etc) that are essential for low carbon future energy systems and technological advancements. He stressed the importance of partnerships with Russia to leverage their expertise in geophysical, geochemical, and geological surveys. Sierra Leone aims to transition from merely exporting raw materials to adding value
through processing and manufacturing, aligning with the African Mining Vision of 2009.

The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources continued with a long history in diamond mining in Sierra Leone and looks to seek partners in the mining industry across the globe and within BRICS for support in policy development, technology transfer, and market access. Minister Mattai emphasized the importance of BRICS in shaping global trade rules and creating job opportunities, particularly in the artisanal and small-scale mining sectors.

In her panel session, 1st Deputy Minister of Finance Hon. Kadiatu Allie called for international and interregional cooperation to create sustainable jobs, develop infrastructure, and attract global investment. She encouraged private investments in Sierra Leone to leverage the youthful population and enhance national development.

During bilateral meetings, Sierra Leonean officials and Russian counterparts, including the Head of Rosnedra, Petrov Evgeniy, discussed leveraging Russia’s exten
sive geological research and expertise. Ambassador Yongawo underscored the strengthening relationship between Sierra Leone and Russia, emphasizing the need for proper mining practices and human capacity development.

The SPIEF 2024 participation and subsequent MOU signing mark a significant step for Sierra Leone in harnessing its natural resources and fostering international partnerships for sustainable development.

Source: Sierra Leone News Agency

Eid-ul-Adha: Palestinian Ambassador distributes meat, food items

Mr Abdalfatah Ahmed Khalil Alsattari, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Ghana, Sunday distributed meat and food items to more than 300 people living within the Embassy’s vicinity.

The gesture was in commemoration of this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebration observed by Muslims around the world.

It was also to commemorate the friendship and bond between the State of Palestine and Ghana.

Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha to commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his son as a sign of his obedience to God.

During this celebration, they sacrifice permissible animals, generally goats, sheep, and cows and share with neighbours.

Mr Alsattari said the gesture was to appreciate Ghana for its continuous support to the State of Palestine particularly in the time of war and difficulties.

‘Ghana is my second country; so far, I have spent 10 years here. I will like to use this opportunity to say thank you for your continuous support to Palestine,’ he stressed.

Mr Alsattari said the meat shared was from
three cows donated by the Palestinian community in the United States, Canada and himself.

Imam Sa-id Mukhtar Abubakar, Officiating Imam of Dara Salam Mosque, said the Day was significant to remind all of the need to give and share with others.

He urged Muslims to have a sense of care for others, no matter their situation, just as the people of Palestine had shown even in their times of difficulties.

‘Devoid of whatever situation we find ourselves, the prophet had hardship in his life, but at the same time, he used to sacrifice his time, his health, his family for the sake of others.

‘So, I think this is the lesson we are learning, not only embodied in the sacrifice celebration that we are having today, but also in this gesture shown us by the people of Palestine.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Thousands attend Eid Ul Adha prayers in Ho

Thousands of Muslims in the Ho Municipality on Sunday attended a public prayer ceremony to mark the feast of sacrifice, Eid Ul Adha.

The commemoration is held annually to commemorate the sacrifice of Abraham, grand patriarch of the Islamic faith, and is being observed this year from the evening of Saturday, June 15 to Sunday, June 16.

The Islamic Basic School Park in Ho was short of space as white-clad members of the faith came out in their numbers for the Eid prayers, which kicks off a three-day celebration characterised by heavy feasting and sharing.

Ahaji Alfa Anas Hamidu, the Volta Regional Chief Imam, led the prayers and performed the ritual sacrifice of a ram to mark the ceremony.

In a brief sermon following the prayers, he said the festival commemorated the ‘unique faith’ Abraham had in God, and that his spirit of sacrifice should guide all, particularly the youth.

Iman Hamidu used the occasion to remind them of the need for peaceful coexistence in the run up to the December elections, and asked t
he youth to stay true to the tenets of the religion, which are peace unity and development.

‘Islam is not a religion of violence. Islam is a religion of tolerance, peace and unity and development. A true Muslim is that person through whose hands and tongue people are safe. The Koran says you should cooperate in righteousness and peace,’ he said.

The Imam added that the nation deserved a political campaign devoid of insults, and proclaimed, ‘don’t go and fight because Islam teaches the peace, unity and development that Ghanaians are praying for.’

The two major political Parties were well represented at the prayer ceremony and shared goodwill with the community while reaffirming commitment to peace and development.

Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic and Flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), donated a young bull to the community for the celebrations.

Mr. Divine Bosson, Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), represented the Party on whose ticket he is running as a parliamentary c
andidate, and presented the bull on the behalf of the Vice President.

The MCE, who heads the local security council, assured the people of necessary measures to bolster peace and security in the Municipality, and extended caution to violent factions.

‘I will use my position to maintain the peace we are enjoying today,’ he stated.

Mr Isaac Kotobisa, a regional executive of the main opposition National Democratic Congress, also made the call for unity, and said the religious festival resonated the self sacrifice the nation required in the present dispensation.

Monday, June 17 has been declared a public holiday for the celebration, and hundreds of sheep and cattle would be slaughtered throughout Islamic communities for the feast.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Assembly Culture Department, NSS organise skills training for service personnel

The Department of Culture, Creative Arts, and Tourism of the Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Assembly, in collaboration with the National Service Secretariat (NSS), has organised a skills training workshop for national service personnel in the municipality.

Madam Sandra Boison, the Municipal Director for Culture, Creative Arts, and Tourism, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that the training was aimed at equipping national service staff with skills that would help them become self-employed or employable to other organisations.

She noted that the assembly realised that over the period, some service personnel, after completing their one-year service, were unable to get employed, hence the need to teach and train them to acquire some skills to rely on.

She said that it was the second time the department had collaborated with the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) to equip them with skills in detergent making, yoghurt preparation, and beaded slipper making.

Madam Boison also added that, a
s part of the local economic development (LED) agenda to improve economic growth and development, the assembly, together with some stakeholders, often organised such training for interested personnel and youths in the communities.

‘Now it is quite difficult to be employed in the government sector or some organisations, and most people only focus on being employed in the public sector, so we hope that these skill trainings will aid them in becoming self-employed while waiting for other opportunities,’ she said.

She urged the youth to develop more interest in skills and entrepreneurship and not to rely on gaining employment in the government sector.

Mr Immanuel Nii-Larte Lartey, the District Manager of the NSS, stated that skills training was the process of acquiring and developing the knowledge, abilities, and competencies necessary to perform a specific job, task, or profession, and it is essential for service personnel to add a skill to their academic work.

Mr Lartey said that skill training was importan
t because it added to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, Target 4.4, which implies that by the year 2030, there should be a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.

He said, ‘Skill training is essential for achieving this goal, as it will enable individuals to acquire the needed skills to access better employment, opportunities, and sustainable development.’

He encouraged them to invest and have an interest in skill training and vocation, as it would yield numerous benefits, drive their personal and professional growth, and lead to success in their ever-evolving work landscape.

Mr Theodore Teidjain, the President of Kpone-Katamanso NASPA, reiterated that the training would help bridge the gap of unemployment in the municipality and also help them to fend for themselves without depending on their parents while waiting to be employed either in the public sector or other inst

He also called on the KKMA to set up a financial support programme to helpthose who would want to set up a business of their own but do not have the financial means.

He again encouraged service personnel to learn a trade, vocation, or skill that will position them well and enhance their values in the job market.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Effutu MCE urges Muslim youth to reject politicians who foment trouble in the country

Alhaji Zubeiru Kassim, Effutu Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), has called on the youth, particularly Muslims, not to allow themselves to be inspired by politicians to foment trouble before, during and after the December 7, general elections.

He stated that peace was essential and they must reject any trouble as their contributions to sustaining the peace and tranquility.

Alhaji Kassim made the call while addressing hundreds of Muslims at Wumsum, a community in Winneba Township to commemorate the 2024 edition of the Eid-ul-Adha Festival, a period of sacrifice.

He prayed for Allah’s continuous peace to prevail in Effutu and the country as a whole, adding that it was about time Muslims and all persons living in Effutu Municipality tolerated each other’s views to uphold the principles of peace and unity.

He said such values facilitated development hence, Muslim Youth in Effutu should not allow their quest for political power to be a source of tension in the Zongo communities and in the whole Area.

Alhaji Moh
ammed Monsuri Isaah, Effutu Municipal Chief Imam, who led the worshipers in prayers, expressed gratitude and thanks to Allah for bringing the country this far.

He also prayed for harmony and cohesion to continue to prevail in Ghana, as the country prepared for election this year devoid of political, religious or ethnic conflicts.

He called on the Muslim youth, especially to shy away from all negative tendencies, which hinderedprogress and also tarnished image of Islam which stood for peace.

‘Let us continue to reflect on the principles of Islam and be law abiding while celebrating the day,’ he advised.

Alhaji Galadiama, National Chief Firla, on behalf of Shalichi sulaemana Salanga, Chief of Effutu Zongo, also gave thanks to Allah for his continuous protection and guidance.

He appealed to his people to always embrace good, peace and unity to forge ahead in progress and also for the Almighty Allah to continue to take pour His blessings on them.

A ram was killed to signify their sacrifice to Allah

: Ghana News Agency

MPS plants trees within Tema Port enclave

Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) has participated in the national Green Ghana Project through the planting of 1002 in the Tema Port enclave to significantly contribute to the re-greening of the area.

The exercise is the second edition undertaken by the MPS with management and staff participating in planting 1001 trees in the area in 2023.

The exercise was joined by the Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, together with staff of MPS, and supported by officials of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and port stakeholders who planted coconut seedlings along the main harbour road.

Mr Samara said he considered the exercise an environmental responsibility that all within the port environment should commit to.

‘Once more, it’s the environment that we are in; I cannot isolate us from the rest of the environment; any responsible business must give back to the space that he took from the environment. A no-net loss is an ideology that we all should think of; if I take something from the
environment, I have to give her something back,’ he said.

Mr Daniel Asare, the Corporate Estate and Environment Manager at the GPHA, said the port authority would continue to associate itself with such good causes that serve the environment.

He said port authorities are now being called upon to adopt their operations as environmentally clean as possible, adding that tree planting has been one of the strategies that they use in checking their carbon footprints.

‘So, we are planting the tree to serve as a carbon sink to protect the port from environmental pollution because the port operation is full of environmental pollution issues,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GACL investigating alleged thievery or extortion at Airport

The Management of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) says it is investigating alleged thievery or extortion at the Airport.

‘Anyone found culpable in any of these acts which negatively impacts our cherished passengers and additionally brings the image of GACL into disrepute, will be dealt with according to the full rigours of the law,’ it added.

A statement issued in Accra by Management of the Airport said its attention had been drawn to a publication in the news media on the handling of some unaccompanied baggage at Kotoka International Airport.

It said it had taken note of the concerns raised in the publication and was taking the needed steps to immediately investigate and address it.

The statement assured the public of its commitment to ensure that operations at the airport were safe and secure for travellers.

It said plans were already in motion to restrict access to non-travellers and unauthorised personnel at security zones, such as baggage hold areas.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ellembelle District Chief Imam urges EC to ensure level playing field for December Elections

The Ellembelle District Chief Imam, Sheik Mustapha Kwesi Buah-Abdallah, has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure free, fair and transparent December 7 elections.

He also advised the top hierarchies of the various political parties and their supporters to abide by the rules of the game in the quest for a peaceful and incident-free elections.

Sheikh Buah-Abdella was addressing a teaming crowd of Muslim faithfuls at the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha (feast of sacrifice) at Kamgbunli in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.

He advised Muslims in the country, especially the youth not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to forment any trouble in the run-up to the December elections.

He cautioned all stakeholders to follow the electoral process in order not to subvert the will of the people of Ghana.

He appealed to the Muslim community to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country in the run up to the December polls.

He advised Muslims, especially the youth to respect the
elderly and sacrifice their lives for the progress and development of their community and the country at large.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah appealed to the Muslim community to continue to unite and pray for the peace and development of the nation.

He asked them to come out in their numbers and exercise their franchise during the upcoming general elections.

Mr Kofi Buah donated GHC5,000.00, set of jersey and a football towards a football gala competition as part of the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations.

The Abusuakpanyinli of Kamgbunli, and Ambainu, Alhaji Muhammad Abdullah, advised Muslims to observe the five pillars of Islam, especially embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

He reminded them that Allah frowned upon un-Islamic attitudes and appealed to them to allow the tenets of Islam permeated every aspect of the lives.

Source: Ghana News Agency