The mining industry remains a key enabler of industrialisation and broad-based economic development of Ghana, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has said.
He said the industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), internal revenue generation and socio-economic development was very significant to the development of the economy.
As a result, he said the ministry would this year partner local assemblies to improve infrastructure development in mining areas through the Minerals Development Fund (MDF).
That, he said, would create an enabling environment for the mining sector to thrive.
“There is the need to do more for the country by continuing to create the needed partnerships that bring the kind of benefits to be associated with a blossoming mining industry,” he said.
The minister made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu Bio, at the inauguration of a permanent office complex to accommodate the Ghana Chamber of Mines in Accra.
The three-storey structure, located within the Gulf House Enclave in Accra, will house all the chamber’s operational units as well as serve as a centre for mining information in Ghana.
The estimated cost of the edifice which started in 2017 is US$1.2 million.
It has conference rooms, boardroom, mining library for research, a gymnasium, refreshment parlour and a secretariat for the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EFEDCOM) and the Local Network of the United Nations Global Compact centre.
It is also disability friendly with the aim of promoting diversity and inclusiveness in the mining industry.
Mr Benito Owusu Bio and a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee, jointly inaugurated the facility.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh indicated that the ministry was aware of the numerous social projects member companies of the chamber were undertaking, including the construction of schools, health centres and electrification projects.
He commended the chamber for introducing a tertiary education fund, which was expected to transform research and education in the mining industry, noting that the initiative would go a long way to complement the government’s Free SHS policy.
“The ministry will also continue to partner local assemblies to improve infrastructure development in mining areas through the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) and I call on you to support the local assemblies with the needed expertise in undertaking projects under the MDF to help improve the lives of the host communities.
“There is also the need to do more for the country by continuing to create the needed partnerships that bring the kind of benefits to be associated with a blossoming mining industry,” he added.
Adherence to governance principles
The President of the chamber, Mr Eric Asubonteng, said the chamber would ensure that its members adhered to stringent but progressive globally accepted governance principles that ensured that businesses were responsive to the needs of the changing world.
“Through useful partnerships, the chamber has continued to maintain its position as the foremost anchor to Ghana’s economy and despite the challenges we face daily, we continue to prove our commitment beyond all reasonable doubts,” he said.
Mr Asubonteng also urged the minister to pay attention to the value chain of mining and continue to deepen efforts and create opportunities for locals to benefit from the industry.
For his part, the CEO of the chamber, Mr Sulemanu Koney, paid glowing tribute to past executives for mooting the idea.