President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has deemed the establishment of the Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week Initiative as a necessity to create synergies that add up to a stronger economy based on sustainable growth over the long term.
He pointed out that the synergies from the Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week event must lead to opportunities for people to get good education and jobs, and improve infrastructure for citizens to have equal access to the benefits that flow from mining revenues.
President Akufo-Addo who made the remark in a keynote address at the 3rd Edition of the Ghana Gold Expo Mining Week held in Takoradi in the Western Region opined that the theme for the event, “Potential of Mining for Sustainable Development” was an important subject to every citizen, as it has a direct relationship with the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
He, therefore, underscored the need for much more lasting mining practices that promote sustainable economic development most especially, within the communities in which the extractives were located.
“As a government, we expect the industry to keep being a reliable partner for sustainable development for the economy and the people”, he stressed.
He also contended that unlocking the potential of mining for development in Ghana also means building a sector that thrives on transparency and community development and said his government was keen on ensuring the transparent utilization of mineral royalties.
President Akufo-Addo observed that all the private stakeholders in the industry were also looking for stability and security in the economy.
He stated that the mining industry under his tenure has seen the establishment of B5 Plus, the largest iron steel manufacturing center in West Africa under the 1D1F initiative with the vision to make Ghana a net exporter of iron and steel products.
He said over the past years, cooperation and integration of technical and economic activities in the mining sector under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance and other key stakeholders have ensured economic growth, ecological protection of natural resources and environment, and social development including safety at workplaces and community development.
said this was an indication of how his government has played a major role in the sustainable mineral resources development in Ghana.
“We have collaboratively repositioned the industry and created a sustainable environment that ensures growth for existing companies and paves way for new entries”, he pointed out.
He hinted that the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Act 2019 (ACT 988), establishes the contractual relationship between the state, GIISDEC, and prospective investors in the development and promotion of the economy and the efficiency of the integrated iron and steel industry along the entire iron and steel value chain from the mining of iron ore and its related minerals to the production of iron and steel for industrialization and economic growth.
He mentioned that his government has also revived the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC), a state corporation responsible for the development and promotion of the bauxite and Aluminum industry among others as the key technical set-up his government has put in place to drive sustainable development in the sector apart from gold mining.
The President commended some key mining companies for helping to develop and bring infrastructure to various communities and cited the Gold Fields Tarkwa-Damang who constructed a 33km asphalt road costing US$ 27 million and further awarded the contract to a local contractor to build it.
He reiterated his government’s readiness to work with all stakeholders in achieving such a goal with the hope that together in partnership, “we can help to transform and create sustainable development of our mining and the economy in general.”
Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah also said the Ghana Gold Expo-Mining Week presents a platform to showcase Ghana and the Western Region as the hub for gold related activities, especially supply chain, reserves, and marketing of value-added gold products like jewellery.
He announced that the Ghana Gold Expo forms part of a total package with an overarching aim to deepen bilateral cooperation and promote responsible (Zero Mercury) gold operations in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Australia.
He added that the Ghana Gold Expo works directly and indirectly with six (6) key ministries including, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and various Commissions under the Ministry.
The Minister, in his concluding remarks, indicated that it was necessary to buy in the excellent idea proposed by the Executive Director of Ghana Gold Expo, Dr Steven Blessing Ackah so that they can coordinate their efforts, especially with the coming on board of the Community Mining Scheme initiative.