Emma Morrison (right), Regional Manager, Corporate Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, Gold Fields, briefing Samuel Jinapor (2nd from right), Minister of Lands  and Natural Resources; Nana Kusi Okyere Ntrama (middle), Asanteman Benkumhene  and representative of the Asantehene; Barbara Oteng Gyasi (left), Board Chair, Minerals Commission, and other dignitaries at the event. Picture: DOUGLAS ANANE-FRIMPONG
Emma Morrison (right), Regional Manager, Corporate Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, Gold Fields, briefing Samuel Jinapor (2nd from right), Minister of Lands and Natural Resources; Nana Kusi Okyere Ntrama (middle), Asanteman Benkumhene and representative of the Asantehene; Barbara Oteng Gyasi (left), Board Chair, Minerals Commission, and other dignitaries at the event. Picture: DOUGLAS ANANE-FRIMPONG

Encourage local participation in extractive industry — Otumfuo urges govt

The 17th edition of the West Africa Mining, Power Exhibition and Conference (WAMPEX) has commenced in Accra, with a call on the government to encourage local ownership and participation in the extractive industry.

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The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who made the call said such a measure was crucial for job creation, economic growth and accelerated development of the country.

“Local ownership and participation is important, such that if we are able to own our resources we can keep the money here, and that will help us see faster progress in our development.

“In South Africa, the mines are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) for the people to own part of it, and that resource is used to develop the country.

“West Africa or Accra can be developed as a mining hub like Johannesburg which used to be just a mining town,” the Asantehene said in a speech read on his behalf by the Omanhene of Essumeja and Asanteman Benkumhene, Odeneho Okyere Kusi Ntrama, at the conference in Accra yesterday, on the theme: “The mining and power hub: Driving sustainable investment opportunities in West Africa.”

The conference is an annual event that brings captains of the mining and power companies together to deliberate on the way forward. Participants include West Africa ministers, international and local investors, researchers and traditional leaders.

About 3,000 attendees and 150 exhibiting companies are attending the three-day conference. It is an initiative of the Ghana Chamber of Mines with support from some corporate entities.

Road, rail infrastructure

The Asantehene also said that there was the need to invest heavily in road and railway infrastructure to harness the full potential of the extractive industry. He said the missing link hindering the country from maximising the potential of the extractive industry was the transport industry.

The Asantehene added that local investors should also explore areas within the West Africa sub region by building strong partnerships.

Interventions

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the government would continue to implement policies and programmes to create an enabling environment to drive sustainable investment in responsible mining and power generation.

“We are investing in infrastructure to decentralise the operations of the Minerals Commission, the regulation of the sector to make it more efficient to regulate and monitor mining operations,” he said.

The minister further said that the government, through a public private partnership, had constructed a 400-kilogramme capacity gold refinery to refine gold produced in the country, adding that work on a $450-million manganese refinery would soon commence.

“We are, also, in the process of enacting a Legislative Instrument, pursuant to section 28 of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation Act, 2018 (Act 976), to restrict the export of bauxite in its raw state.

“This will enable us to leverage on our 900 million metric tonnes of bauxite resources to build an integrated aluminium industry in-country,” he said.

For his part, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Michael Edem Akafia, said the conference underscored the importance of collaboration and creation of synergies in the mining and energy sectors in West Africa. 

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