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Mineworkers pay tribute to Rawlings

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Late former President Jerry John Rawlings
Late former President Jerry John Rawlings

The Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU), of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Accra last week eulogised late former President Jerry John Rawlings for his immense role in the transformation agenda of the country’s mining industry.

The General Secretary of the union, Mr Abdul-Moomin Gbana, recounted for four decades, up to the 1980s, no new mine opened in Ghana due to a myriad of problems the sector faced.

However, under the leadership of late President Rawlings, some specific sector policy reforms were implemented which helped to boost investor interest in the mining sector.

“The dynamic evolution of mineral laws and policies under his leadership led to a rapid growth of Ghana’s mining economy. Indeed, between 1983 and 1998, the mining industry brought approximately US$4 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ghana, representing more than 60 per cent of all such investment in the country,” he said.

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Mr Gbana said indeed, late President Rawlings’ personal involvement and commitment in salvaging the then declining mining sector and transforming it into an enviable industry was deeply appreciated.

“His demonstration of excellence, high standards of ethical conduct, integrity, civic and social responsibility in those trying days made it possible for the mining sector to attract the needed FDIs for its transformation,” he added.

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Award

On 2019, the late former President Rawlings received a special award from the GMWU at its 75th anniversary awards.

The citation that accompanied the award stated, “Your Excellency, your personal involvement and commitment in salvaging the then declining/collapsing mining sector and transforming it into the enviable industry we see today is deeply appreciated. Your demonstration of excellence, high standards of ethical conduct, integrity and civic and social responsibility in those trying days made it possible for the mining sector to attract the needed Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) for its transformation. For this, the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union in particular and the entire mining sector will forever be grateful to you.

“The dynamic evolution of mineral laws and policies, under your leadership, led to a rapid growth of Ghana’s mining economy. Indeed, between 1983 and 1998, the mining industry brought approximately US$4 billion in Foreign Direct Investment to Ghana, representing more than 60 per cent of all such investment in the country (Ghana Minerals Commission, 2000). The mining sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross foreign exchange earnings, under your leadership, also increased progressively from 15.60 per cent in 1986 to 46 per cent in 1998. In absolute terms, the sector generated US$ 124.4 million in 1986, and US$793 million in 1998 (Ghana Minerals Commission, 2000).

“For instance, between 1984 and 1995, there were significant institutional development and policy changes that offered generous incentives to investors to reflect the new paradigm. The establishment of the Minerals Commission in 1984; the promulgation of the minerals and mining code in 1986; the promulgation of the small-scale mining law in 1989 and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1994 were all to boost the mining industry in Ghana.”