The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP has underscored the importance of value addition to the successful and responsible harnessing of natural resources, urging African countries to follow the blueprint being implemented by the government of Ghana.
Delivering a speech at the ongoing African Prosperity Dialogue on Thursday, January 25, the Lands Minister gave prominence to the key role value addition can play in the economic fortunes of African countries and implored on the countries to begin the institute measures that will ensure that mineral resources are exploited effectively.
Touching on the theme of the Conference, ‘Delivering Prosperity in Africa: Produce, Add Value and Trade’, Mr. Jinapor identified value addition and local participation as the two principles which are fundamental to the extraction of more Value Mineral resources and making the extractive sector the bedrock of economic turnaround.
He espoused that the pre-colonial practice of “digging and shipping” should make way for addition of value to the minerals as it enhances the revenue generation capacity of the country which will culminate into the transformation of the economy.
To encourage the other countries to chart the same path as Ghana, the Minister outlined some policy interventions made by the Ghana government which are already bearing fruits.
“We cannot transform our economies if we continue to dig and ship!!! That is why since assuming office in 2017, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo has been working to ensure that we add value to our mineral resources. Today, for the first time in our country, Government has established, through a Public Private Partnership, a four hundred kilogramme (400kg) gold refinery to refine the gold we produce, and we are working to secure a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Certification,” he stated.
”The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), which we established in 2018 and 2019, respectively, have been working to promote and develop integrated aluminium and iron and steel industries, from exploration, through refining, to downstream production. And work is far advanced for the commencement of the construction of a $450 million manganese refinery in Ghana,” he added.
On local participation, he said the importance of citizens benefiting directly from the resources in their countries cannot be overemphasized, adding that government owe the citizens a duty to facilitate their participation in the exploitation of their resource.
He further disclosed that government is currently working on policy with Ghana Chamber of Mines that will compel large scale mining companies to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange which creates a platform for Ghanaian ownership of the companies through acquisition of shares.
“To derive optimal benefit from our natural resources, African peoples must participate, fully, across the entire value chain of the industry. Our peoples must have equity in the companies involved in the exploration, production, and processing of our mineral resources. It is for this reason that the Government of Ghana is working with the Ghana Chamber of Mines to ensure that large scale mining companies, operating in the country, list on the Ghana Stock Exchange, to enable Ghanaians acquire shares in these companies. We have, also, enacted the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431), to promote local content in the mining industry,” he said.
“Pursuant to this law, we have increased the items on the Local Procurement List of goods and services reserved for Ghanaians from twenty-nine (29) to fifty (50), retaining, here in our country, some $3 billion, annually, which would have otherwise been exported.”
The maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues series which kicked off today, Thursday, January 25, will end on Saturday, January 27.
The dialogue series, which is an initiative of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), seeks to bring Africa’s political and business leaders together in conference with other thought leaders on Africa.
Not only will they brainstorm on the all-important single-market project for the continent, but the dialogues will also create an annual platform for the continent’s leaders to spearhead collaborative implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.