Ghana

Let’s add value to natural resources, stop ‘dig and ship’

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, has underscored the importance of value addition to the successful and responsible harnessing of nat­ural resources, while urging African countries to follow the blueprint being implemented by the government of Ghana.

Delivering a speech at the ongoing African Prosperity Dialogue last Thursday, the Lands Minister underlined the key role value addition played in the economic fortunes of African countries and implored African countries to institute measures that would ensure that min­eral resources were 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 were fundamental to the extraction of more value mineral resources and making the extractive sector the bedrock of economic turnaround.

He stated 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 would 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 were 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 US$450million manganese refinery in Ghana,” he added.

On Local participation, he said the impor­tance of citizens benefitting directly from the resources in their countries could not be over­emphasised, adding that government owed the citizens a duty to facilitate their participation in the exploitation of their resource.

He further disclosed that government was currently working on policy with Ghana Chamber of Mines that would compel large scale mining companies to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange, which created a platform for Ghanaian ownership of the companies through acquisition of shares.

“Pursuant to this law, we have increased the items on the Local Procurement List of goods and services reserved for Ghanaians from 29 to 50, retaining, here in our coun­try, some US$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, 2024, will end on Saturday, January 28, 2024.

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.

 BY TIMES REPORTER

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