THE Ghana Chamber of Mines says it will drive the agenda to position Ghana as the West African subregional hub of mining support services.
Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said on Friday that ‘Ghana has all it takes to make this dream a reality.’
‘To enhance the attractiveness of Ghana’s mining sector, the Chamber is financing a study on positioning Ghana as the hub of mining support services in West Africa,’ Koney told members of the Journalists for Business Advocacy at a one-day interaction.
He said the study would map out the competitive advantage Ghana has over other countries and to make recommendations to build and sustain support service companies to provide inputs to the mining sector in West Africa competitively.
The CEO promised that the findings and recommendations of the study ‘will be shared with the government.’
With many neighbouring countries beginning to attract investments into mineral exploration and mining, Koney projected that there would soon be a need for mining support services in those countries.
He cited the example of Nigeria, which seeks to diversify its economy, with mineral resources including gold, zinc, iron ore, and other rare earth metals all on its radar.
To realise its vision, Nigeria also granted ten exploration companies three to five-year ‘tax holidays’, duty waivers on imported equipment, and the ability to take profits out of the country.
He said these developments presented opportunities that the support services sub-sector in Ghana should harness.
The Chamber had given indications of the study into this area in its 2020 annual report, explaining that the goal to make Ghana the hub of mining support services also sought to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
‘Harnessing opportunities that the African Continental Free trade Area presents, requires that we build resilient regional value chains around strategic sectors such as mining, which has become the bulwark in West Africa in the last few years,’ said Eric Asubonteng, the president of the Chamber in the annual report.
He added: ‘It is our considered view that the study will be the Chamber’s contribution to give a sustainable competitive advantage to Ghana.’
Despite a fall in its output in 2020, Ghana maintained its ranking as the largest gold producer in Africa, and the sixth-largest producer in the world. Gold output dipped to 4,633 tons in 2020, from 4,820 tons in 2019, due to the impact of Covid-19.
The sector’s contribution to the country’s revenue, however, improved by 3.97 percent to 4.17 billion Ghana cedis ($700 million) in 2020, from 4.01 billion cedis ($674 million) in 2019.
Overall, the contribution of the mining sector to economic output in 2020 also declined to 7.5 percent from 8.6 percent a year earlier.