LIBERIA: In Lofa, Artisanal Miners to Get Cooperative Status

By: Tokpa Tarnue-

VOINJAMA, Several artisanal miners in Lofa County are expected to be transformed into a cooperative society.

The process of transforming the artisanal miners into cooperatives is a major component of the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP).

The Pre-cooperative formation training for artisanal miners component of the Liberia Forest Sector Project is being organized by the ministry of mines and energy and implemented by the Cooperative Development Agency (CDA) with funding from the World Bank through the Norwegian Forest Development Fund

Speaking at the start of a five days Pre-cooperative formation training for thirty artisanal miners in Zolowou town, Zorzor district, the director of communication of the Cooperative Development Agency Benedict Togba, said the project is very important in that, it will help artisanal miners to understand how they can sustainably manage the forest.

He said phase two of the pre-cooperative formation training by the mines and energy ministry and the cooperative development agency will engage a leadership of five that will be elected amongst the artisanal miners for a good governance and financial training for a successful running the proposed cooperative.

According to Togba, the proposed cooperative will later receive a permit for six month period according to International Cooperative Principles

He name the collection of lawful revenue as one major benefit of the government which is a best practice around the world.

Participating miners in the five days intensive training thanked the CDA including the mines and energy ministry for the process of transforming them into a cooperative.

The artisanal miners assured government of their commitment in the suitable management of the forest.

The Pre-cooperative formation training component of the Liberia Forest Sector Project according to Benedit Togba is being implemented in six of Liberia’s fifteen counties to include: Lofa, Sinoe, Gbapolu, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and River Cess counties.

The Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) is a USD37.5 million grant-financed project supported by the Government of Norway via a World Bank-managed Trust Fund.

Under the Liberia Forest Sector Project seeks to provide livelihood benefits and improved incomes for forest communities, while incentivizing sustainable management of forest resources.

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