The president of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EFEDCOM), Kwame Addo-Kufuor Jnr., has called for new approaches and stakeholder dialogues to create an enabling environment to attract foreign and local investment into sustainable and responsible mining.
He said the time has come to think differently on how to support local companies’ active participation in mining value chains by manufacturing and selling more to the industry, which will benefit other sectors of the local economy.
Mr. Addo-Kufuor Jnr., who was speaking at the maiden Annual General Meeting of EFEDCOM held virtually, said the COVID-19 pandemic provided a timely opportunity for governments to do deep internal introspections of their domestic economies and identify areas of competitive advantage.
This, he noted, will help to stimulate growth and replace the many jobs lost to the pandemic.
“It is a well-known fact that West Africa has huge mining potential, much of which is untapped. Now is the time for new approaches and stakeholder dialogues on how to create enabling environments that attract foreign and local investment into sustainable and responsible mining,” he said.
Mr. Addo-Kufuor Jnr. expressed disappointment that most mining operators seeking to meet and exceed current legislation on local sourcing of inputs for production are unable to find manufacturers who can supply commercial quantities at the acceptable standard of quality.
He therefore urged stakeholders to work with the mining industry as well as entrepreneurs in manufacturing, fabrication and services provision, to provide the right incentives which help develop competent local producers of critical mining inputs.
“Mining operators will proudly buy from reliable local sources – not only in compliance with local content laws, but beyond that as part of our corporate social responsibility to support the creation of jobs and reduction of poverty; and taking the benefits of mining beyond tax and royalty payments into the realm of multiplier impacts on the wider economy,” he said.
For his part, Sulemanu Koney, EFEDCOM’s Executive Director, said the organisation which comprises eight mining chambers from the sub-region advocates for effective policies, and promotes mining interests in West Africa to help improve the industry’s and its members’ image.