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Ghana cannot stumble in exploiting her bauxite resources

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated the Board of Directors of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADC) with the charge to exploit fully the value chain of the country’s considerable bauxite resources for national development.

He said time had come for the government to make a concerted effort, not only to merely bring the raw materials into play but to establish the full value chain of the product in order to have a vibrant Aluminium industry in Ghana.

Addressing the Board members at the Jubilee House in Accra, he indicated that, it was imperative that the country employed its strategic vehicle -GIADC – to exploit fully, the value chain of its considerable bauxite resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

The board members are Dr. Oteng Gyasi, (Chairman), Mr. Addae Antwi-Bosiako; representative of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Humphrey Ayim Darke; representative of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr. Michael Ansah; Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Benjamin Ofosu Addo; representative of the Integrated Aluminium Industry, Patrick Bogyako-Siaime; MP, Nana Dokuaa; Okyehemaa and Benito Owusu Bio; MP.

The rest are; Mrs. Abena Osei Asare; a representative of Ministry of Lands/ Natural Resources, Nana Amampene Boateng Twum II; a representative of the Ministry of Finance and Dr. Henry Benyah.

“We cannot in this modern era stumble twice in our journey of giving value to our significant natural resources of bauxite, and thereby, accelerating our industrial development and transformation,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

The Journey to create an Aluminium industry in Ghana began in 1948, through the establishment of Volta Aluminium Company — a joint venture initiated between Kaiser Aluminum and ALCOA — too American conglomerate Aluminium industries.

Later, in other to guarantee a reliable competitive power supply for the Aluminium smelter that was to be set up, Kaizer Aluminium made investment, together with the government of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1961, resulting in the building of Akosombo Dam.

It was intended that Kaizer, subsequent to the construction of the dam, would exploit the country’s bauxite resources to service the smelter of Valco, unfortunately, this never happened. Kaizer continued to depend on its Jamaican bauxite resources for the operations of the Smelter.

President Akufo-Addo expressed worry about why the nation has been unable to put herself in a position to develop fully the entire value chain of the country’s bauxite resources but had mined and exported the bauxite in its raw form.

“That is why upon my assumption of office, Government with the support of Parliament, worked hard to establish the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation, a statutory Corporation to spearhead government’s commitment to established the Integrated Aluminium industry.”

Since its formation, the President indicated, the leadership of the Corporation had worked hard with the transactional advisors, and other stakeholders, to ensure the objective of achieving an integrated Aluminium industry, is executed in a timely manner.

A request of proposals, he said, was ready to be sent out in the market shortly, to solicit proposals from investors, interested in partnering government, to develop various components of the Aluminium industry in Ghana.

The President indicated that aluminum is often described as the metal of the future “and if that is the case we have its raw material that is bauxite in abundance in Ghana.”

He noted that Ghana’s obligation of the $2 billion Syno-hydro deal required that “we supply them with Aluminium products as payment in returns for a $2 billion of projects.”

“The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation, headed by the astute and solid Ghanaian professional, with reputable international credentials, and a board, composed of diverse experience, well-grounded personalities, I am confident that the Corporation will enjoy the benefit of their considerable abilities in the discharge of its duties and help realise the objectives of the Corporation.

The Corporation, a public one, has been located in the Office of the President, and I am looking forward to regular reporting from you as to your progress,” said the President.

He said much of the future success of the nation is bound up with the Board’s work. I’m aware that the task ahead of you is a challenging one and it’s my expectation and hope that you’ll be up to it.

The Chairman, Dr. Oteng Gyasi thanked the President for the honour done them and assured that “It is not for us to give promises, our work will speak from itself.”

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