The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, has urged African nations to move beyond the “dig and ship” model and embrace value addition to unlock true economic prosperity from natural resources.
He made the call at the ongoing African Prosperity Dialogue on Thursday in Accra.
He said value addition can turn Africa’s economy around and urged African leaders to begin implementing measures to ensure that mineral resources are effectively exploited.
The Minister indicated that value addition was not just an option but a necessity for African economies to break the cycle of resource exploitation and poverty.
“We cannot transform our economies if we continue to dig and ship. That is why since assuming office in 2017, Ghana’s President has been working to ensure that we add value to our mineral resources. Today, for the first time in our country, the government has established, through a Public Private Partnership, a 400kg gold refinery to refine the gold we produce and we are working to secure a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Certification,” he stated.
“The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), which we established in 2018 and 2019, respectively, have been working to promote and develop integrated aluminium and iron and steel industries, from exploration, through refining, to downstream production. And work is far advanced for the commencement of the construction of a $450 million manganese refinery in Ghana,” he added.
On local participation, he stated that the importance of residents profiting from their country’s resources cannot be overemphasised, adding that governments owe it to their citizens to allow them to participate in the exploitation of natural resources.
He said the government has begun developing a policy with the Ghana Chamber of Mines that would require large-scale mining businesses to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange to create a platform for Ghanaian ownership of the companies through share purchasing.
Beyond Ghana’s success story, Mr Jinapor stated the importance of a continental transformation. He urged African governments to follow suit, implement similar policies and work together to develop a thriving and value-driven resource industry across the continent.
The African Prosperity Dialogue, he asserted, is an important avenue for promoting such collaboration and pushing collective action toward a bright future powered by Africa’s innovation and resources.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD