Government is set to unveil a plan on how the nation’s natural mineral resources, especially gold, would see value added locally to create jobs, increase revenue to the state, improve the living standards of Ghanaians and place the nation on a stronger path beyond aid.
Ghana has been producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese for decades but has little to show when it comes to value addition, a situation government says it is bent on changing in the coming years.
A detailed report on the way forward for the minerals sector has been presented to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh to aid him re-structure the country’s status, moving away from mining the commodities for export to adding value.
Collins Anim-Sackey, Director of the Policy Planning and Minerals Titles Directorate of the Minerals Commission, told the B&FT in an interview, that the minister set up a steering committee to look at the possibility of adding value to the minerals that are produced in the country.
The committee, which was made up of expertise from the Minerals Commission, Standards Board, Jewellers Association of Ghana, Gold Coast Refinery, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, amongst others, was tasked to develop a framework to look at how value can be added to minerals that are produced in the country.
“The committee’s role include looking at the technologies available, what equipment and machines are available that can help in value addition, the level of training of the jewellers and what can be done to upgrade their skills, marketing of the goods that would be produced as well as access to the supply of the raw material like Gold were key during the committee’s work,” he said.
“We have given a proposal to the minister which entails where we stand currently and what we can do to be more relevant when it comes to adding value to the minerals that we mine. I cannot disclose what we proposed but they are good and the minister showed a lot of interest in the work.
Once the Minister accepts it and it becomes a working document then structures would be put in place for implementation. The President, from day one, has been speaking about value addition and therefore the challenge has been thrown and as technical people we are ready to implement measures that need to be taken to deal with the issue,” Mr. Anim-Sackey added.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the 2019 edition of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment conference, at Cape Town in South Africa stressed that mining could accelerate the growth of Africa’s manufacturing sector.
For him, it could be the champion of economic growth on the continent, just like Canada, Australia, the Americas and South Africa that have had spectacular examples of considerable wealth created amongst individuals and corporations as a result of significant discoveries in far-away lands.
“We cannot, and should not continue to be merely exporters of raw materials to other countries. The value chain of mineral extraction has great potential for job creation, and can form an essential basis for the transformation of economies around the continent,” he added.