Accra, June 1, GNA– Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has challenged mining companies operating in Ghana and the West African sub-region to work with governments and regulatory bodies to establish a mining index on local stock exchanges.
That, he said, would allow both the owners of the mineral resources and investors to benefit from their exploitation.
« The benefits of a mining index on the local bourse are enormous, enabling both the State, Mining Companies, beneficiary communities and investors to attract the necessary capital and built-in incentives for all involved, » the Vice President emphasized.
Vice President Bawumia made the call when addressing participants at the West African Mining and Power Exhibition and Conference in Accra on Wednesday.
The three-day event was on the theme: « Advancing a Legacy of Sustainable and Responsibility Mining through Innovation and Partnerships, » which attracted captains of industry, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the mining industry to strategise and chart the way forward towards rapid socio-economic development.
Dr Bawumia urged African countries to speed up the development of the capacity to interact with the world’s natural resources banks, fund managers and the leading stock exchanges in the world to allow locals to benefit more from the minerals resource endowment.
“In this regard, let me sound a clarion call on the big mining companies operating here in Ghana and indeed, the West African sub-region, to work towards the emergence of a mining index on our Stock Exchanges and thereby accelerate their growth and significance in African mining.
“This will require deep collaboration among the local stock exchanges, their regulators, as well as mining firms to incentivize Ghanaians to own listed greenfield exploration projects as the upside on such investments tend to be higher, » the Vice President emphasised
While acknowledging the enormous resources found on the African continent, Dr Bawumia called for a careful balance between the profit-seeking needs of investors, and the sustainable living needs of the communities within which the minerals were discovered.
“Significantly, the African Union has been reassessing critically the real significance of mining to host countries’ economies over the years.
« As a result of these efforts, the African Mining Vision emerged as far back 2009.
« In essence the African Mining Vision seeks to ensure transparent, responsible, equitable and optimal exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources for broad-based sustainable socio-economic development for the host Governments and its citizenry, » he added.
Dr Bawumia urged African countries and mining companies to collaborate on a sub-regional and even regional basis to derive the most benefit from the exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources.
“We need a strategy to enable us to pool the mineral resource rich countries in West Africa and beyond together to assume the mantle in the transformation of our economies with a greater awareness of mining as a more comprehensive and transformational economic activity and as a key backbone for our country, » he added.
Godwill Arthur- Mensah