President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has revealed that government is prioritizing value addition in the natural resources sector to ensure the state receives optimal benefits.
The government is also strengthening local content and participation to ensure that Ghanaians have more roles in the extraction of these resources.
Speaking at the Natural Resources Stakeholder Dialogue in Accra, President Akufo-Addo noted that the world’s poorest countries are those with the largest deposits of mineral resources and that resource-rich countries in sub-Saharan Africa are among the poorest in the world.
President Akufo-Addo highlighted several reasons for this, including poor and short-sightedness in negotiations with companies that exploit natural resources, corruption, incompetence, political instability, and extensive tax and royalty exemptions.
He stressed that Africa still holds some 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, and even higher proportions of gold, diamond, bauxite, and manganese, but the contribution of these resources to socio-economic development has been limited.
“We cannot repeat these mistakes. While we understand that mining companies must make a profit from their business, it is important that this is done not at the expense of the lands and the people that provide these resources,” he said.
The government of Ghana remains committed to working with all stakeholders to construct a sustainable and value-added natural resources sector anchored on transparency, integrity, and utmost good faith for the benefit of the Ghanaian people, according to Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
The management of natural resources is not just about protection and exploitation but also about sustainability, environmental protection, mitigating the climate crisis, and ensuring optimal benefits for the owners of these resources.
“That is why, pursuant to the instructions of President Akufo-Addo, we have been taking several measures, over the past few years, to ensure the effective, efficient and sustainable management of our natural resources, and even, significantly, implementing policies aimed at retaining the value chain of these resources in-country,” said Jinapor.
Through the Natural Resources Stakeholder Dialogue, the government hopes to chart a common path to manage Ghana’s natural resources sustainably, add value to them, retain the highest end of the industry, contribute to the national economy, and protect the environment for the collective good.
Story by: Kelly Adjetey Boye | univers.edu.gh