One of the youngest members of the Sierra Leone Youths Council is the 24 years old Chairman of the Kono District Youths Council, Mr. Melvin Komba C. Allieu. Although he is only 24 years of age, the upstanding gentleman has made his mark within Kono and the nation at large so much so that he has caught the attention of key stakeholders including His Excellency the President of the Republic. President Koroma in consultation with stakeholders, has been pleased to forward the nomination of the 24 year old Melvin Allieu to Parliament as a member of the very important Minerals Advisory Board.

Yesterday June 4th 2015 was another great day for the youths of this country when the House of Parliament unanimously approved for a 24 year old to sit on such an important body. The fact that Mr. Melvin Allieu is from Kono and chairman of all youths of entire Kono district is also poignant as Kono district has been lamenting of how bad mining policies for decades, has seen the district not benefit from all the mining activities going on there.

Speaking to Awareness Times yesterday shortly after his parliamentary approval, Mr. Melvin Allieu expressed “many thanks to His Excellency for the appointment. This is a clear fulfilment of his promise to young people and also displays his love for Kono district”.

He however urged his fellow youths that appointments to national service should not be taken for granted but should be seen as an endorsement that young people can carry responsibilities given to them.

“It all has to do with how young people add value to themselves and promote national interest which will convince His Excellency to be considering many more youths for appointments,” the Kono District Youth Chairman opined.

“So let me encourage young people to be focussed, commited in whatever activities they engage on. Start from your community as volunteers. Don’t expect to be paid but just sacrifice and work hard and you will be identified and elevated,” he advised.

“I started as area youth leader then I was elected as my chiefdom youth secretary then I got elected as District Youths secretary for a few years before I got to be elected as Chairman of Kono District Youth Council last year,” he recounted.

He also spoke of his activism on campaigns for just mining and revealed of him being a co-author of many publications advocating for just mining in Sierra Leone.

“Although I am young but His Excellency got it right with my appointment. It is right as I was already in the nucleus of mining activities and such advocacy in this country,” Allieu revealed.

Asked about the reaction to his appointment and approval, he said it was ecstatic.

“Everybody is calling me from all over! Especially  in Kono, everyone’s excited. My youths even wanted to organise a huge welcome rally for me on my return home but I have urged them to not contravene the public health emergency,” the young man said.

The Minerals Advisory Board was created by Section 12 of the 2009 Mines & Minerals Act to be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Mines Minister on matters relating to minerals including granting of applications, reconnaissance and, exploration for, mining, processing, import and export and marketing of minerals;

The Board, amongst a host of other duties is also responsible for  formulating and monitoring recommendations of national policy on exploration for and exploitation of mineral resources with special reference to establishing priorities having due regard to the economy;

Most importantly, it is the Minerals Advisory Board that is empowered to review the 2009 Mines & Minerals Act. It consists of 14 members drawn from various sectors of the society.

It is on to this very important national body that President Koroma has elevated the 24 year old Kono youth leader.

Meanwhile, other presidential nominees approved yesterday included: Mrs. Haddijatou Jallow & Mr. Kalia Edward Sesay as Members of the Minerals Advisory Board.

Mr. Samuel Beresford O. Weekes – Member, Judicial and Legal Service Commission;

Mr. Amadu Bona Ndoeka – Member, Board of Trustees, NASSIT; and Madam Gladys Bamijoko Branche – Board Member, Sierra Leone Airport Authority