The Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) is at the final stage of developing a masterplan for the iron and steel industry.
The plan is expected to provide technical guidance and practical direction on steps to develop the entire iron and steel value chain.
Additionally, the document defines the full scope of Ghana's integrated iron and steel industry and provides the right approaches for the full utilisation of iron ore reserves and their related value chain.
Besides, the masterplan clearly defines the trajectory to developing a robust iron and steel industry, ranging from mining, refining, smeltering to the downstream sector.
A validation workshop was held in Accra yesterday, at which key stakeholders in the iron and steel industry made inputs to the final document.
The two-day workshop provides an opportunity for stakeholders to make inputs and observations that will be incorporated into the final document to serve as a road map for the industry.
Present at the workshop were representatives of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and its agencies, such as the Forestry Commission, the Lands Commission, the Minerals Commission and the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA).
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, described the masterplan as a key milestone in the development of a robust iron and steel industry.
"We have gone through bits of the masterplan, and bringing experts here to review it is a step in the right direction," he said.
He urged the participants to make the right inputs to ensure that the masterplan that would be produced could stand the test of time.
"I want to urge GIISDEC to work assiduously to come up with the plan within the shortest possible time to pave the way for the industry to thrive," he said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIISDEC, Kwabena Bonsu Fordwor, said the masterplan would be critical, especially when the country was on the verge of starting the commercial production of iron and steel.
He said the country had enormous iron ore deposits at various locations, such as Oppon Manso in the Western Region, Shieni in the Northern Region, Pudo in the Upper West Region and Akpafu, Jasikan and Bodada, all in the Oti Region.
"It must be spelt out that for there to be an integrated iron and steel industry, there is the need for certain infrastructural requirements to be in place, such as railways, reliable power, water resources, a good road network, compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations," he said.
He said GIISDEC would collaborate with all the agencies in charge of those services to lay solid systems for the iron and steel industry to thrive.
Mr Fordwor observed that given the crucial role iron and steel played in the development of every economy, GIISDEC would take the necessary steps to ensure that Ghana commenced steel production to boost industrialisation.
The Board Chairman of GIISDEC, Farouk Aliu Mahama, described the validation workshop as a bold step towards achieving a robust iron and steel industry.
He said the masterplan would be the coherent approach to the effective utilisation of iron and steel resources.
Mr Mahama said GIISDEC would work diligently to achieve the government's objective of becoming the hub for iron and steel in Africa and beyond.