Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines has called for collaboration between the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) and the Chamber to fashion out the development blue print to harness the resources within the region more optimally.
“If we continue to operate as business as usual then the opportunities that we have will not come to fruition; things do not happen by chance, to get the best result out of our resources, we need to have a deliberate plan around it,” he said.
He noted that the Chamber sees the opportunity to create growth poles within the region whether it is oil and gas, mining among others.
“It is our view that if we are able to have a deliberate plan round how we can actually harness these linkages, it will stand us a good stem even as we try to grow and develop the Western Region as a hub for the development of our country,” he said.
“We want to see a lot more integration of the mining industry within the rest of the economy. We have had a lot of advocacy over the years, one of the things we have decided to do since last year, is to conduct a study to understand how we can position Ghana as the hub for mining support services within West Africa,” CEO of Chamber of Mines said.
Mr. Koney, was speaking with the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah at Sekondi during a working visit.
He pointed out that there are a lot of mining companies which are coming into West Africa, such as Senegal, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso among others. “This provides huge and immense opportunities for us as a country to provide mining support services. In the scheme of things, we are a market leader, we were the first to decide to liberalize our mining sector to bring in Foreign Direct Investment to open up the space and therefore, we have an advantage,” he added
According to him, “the key question is, how we can convert this advantage to sustainable competitive advantage for our country,” he said, adding that “We believe in your passion for development and this, will provide an opportunity for us work together to develop the resources in the region and the country as a whole.”
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister mentioned that over the years, the region has positioned itself to be the model region of Ghana based on three pillars.
These pillars he said are: Entrepreneurial Governance System, Enterprise Western Region and Mainstreaming the youth throughout Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so that the youth will harness the opportunity to benefit from it. “We have a plan for the region; we want to see that the region is spatially balanced, economically diversified and that which is environmentally friendly,” he said.
He added: “we are looking at mining support services, agro processing, manufacturing which can absorb more people and we are looking at making the region the back office for the oil and gas industry. We have taken a decision to build what we call the ‘Sekondi-Takoradi Financial Services Hub’, so that all these underpins can be built with financing. I am interested in the story of Johannesburg, and I believe we can easily do same without blinking an eye,” the regional minister added.
“I believe we just have to get to work; the Chamber has a key stake in whatever we do in the region; if we put our heads together, we should be able to drive the region to prosperity,” he added.