The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, has highlighted the need to double the production of gold in the country to help affect other sectors, with the economy at the heart of this impact.
The Ghana Gold Expo held at the Takoradi in the Western Region under the theme “Sustainable Mineral Resource Development & Well-being of Mining Communities,” was graced with the presence of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Awulae Angama Tu-Agyan, Omanhene of the Gwira Traditional Area, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, Dr. Addisson, Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana, and other government officials.
The Western Regional Minister made the assertion that Gold was instrumental in fast-tracking the country’s recovery from the COVID crises, hence the call for a doubling of the production of every mineral, which is a panacea to poverty and wealth creation through productivity.
He expressed his gratitude to the President,Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, for his unwavering support for the wellbeing of mining communities as well as for playing a pivotal role in the inception of the Ghana Mining Expo.
The Minister highlighted how the spectrum of mineral resources had widened to cover all 16 other identified mineral resources other than gold. This initiative led to an inter-industry dialogue that significantly carved a progressive pathway to explore the potential of Ghana’s mineral resources for sustainable development.
He stressed the need to allocate equal vigilance and focus given to gold to lithium, which is fast becoming a mineral that is gaining value in the market.
The Minister also mentioned how the Mining Expo has created a nexus between the mining sector and other sectors of the economy, capturing stakeholders in the net and leading to a positive impact on society.
“The Ghana Mining Expo has long acknowledged the interconnectedness between mining and other sectors of our national economy and the importance of engaging various stakeholders, particularly community members. Throughout the years, we have aimed to foster a mining sector that positively impacts our society, economy, and environment” he said.
This, he stated, has cemented their bid to create an environment that is reflective enough of the lucrative mining activities in the communities, which informs this year’s theme, “Sustainable Mineral Resource Development & Well-being of Mining Communities,”.
He hinted at a partnership deal the Ghana Gold Expo Foundation and the Western Regional Coordinating Council had secured with the Oxford University of the United Kingdom to organize a workshop for corporate institutions on Corporate Social Responsibility to create generational prosperity for their host communities.
He mentioned that five top mining companies had already enrolled in the program, with ten small-scale mining Companies and ten Chiefs pending to undergo the same CSR interventions.
“Meanwhile, as part of the gains consolidated from the Ghana Mining Expo initiative, the WRCC and the Ghana Gold Expo Foundation have secured a partnership deal on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The objective is to set up a leadership and workshop programme to offer technical backstopping for corporate institutions on their CRS interventions. As I am reporting, five top mining companies have enrolled in the programme. Additionally, plans are far advanced for ten Small-Scale Mining Companies and ten Chiefs to undergo training on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scope in Oxford University in September, 2023. I believe this is an effort in the right direction and should set the pace for our discussion as far as the theme for this year is concerned” He stated.
The minister outlined how a case-by-case session will be underway in the weeklong minerals week to bring diverse perspectives and action-oriented strategies to help ensure sustainable mineral resource exploration with the central aim of developing their communities.
He gave a clarion call to all and sundry, including government institutions and the citizenry, to foster sustainable mineral development in the country.
“Your Excellency and Nana Chair, as this forum has countlessly echoed over the years, sustainable mineral development requires a holistic approach, encompassing responsible mining practices, environmental stewardship, and the empowerment of mining communities. It necessitates a strong partnership between government, industry, civil society, and local communities. Together, we can create a mining sector that generates wealth and fosters social inclusivity, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods and local prosperity.” He remarked.
He extended warm gratitude to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Bank of Ghana, the Minerals Income Investment Fund, and internal board members of the Ghana Gold Expo Foundation, for spearheading the project.
“I encourage each one of you to actively participate, exchange ideas, and contribute to the conversations and deliberations that will take place during this expo. Your expertise, insights, and commitment are invaluable in shaping the policies, strategies, and initiatives guiding our journey toward a more sustainable and prosperous mining sector” he concluded.
The Ghana Mining Expo, under the High Patronage of the Western Regional Coordinating Council, Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, and partners, has been created in response to adopting the evolving government policies in mineral resources, boosting the interest of investors, and promoting responsible and safe mining.