Accra, June 1, GNA–Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday urged African Central Banks to build significant gold reserves to strengthen their currencies and safeguard economies from external shocks.
He, therefore, advised the Central Banks to buy traceable gold at the world’s market prices to increase their gold reserves in view of the volatility of the precious mineral on the world market.
He cited the Bank of Ghana’s recent policy to purchase more gold from small-scale miners to build Ghana’s gold reserves as a laudable initiative worth emulation by Central Banks in Africa.
Vice President Bawumia gave the advice when delivering the keynote address at the 16th West Africa Mining and Power Exhibition Conference, organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines, in Accra.
The need for building up of countries’ gold reserves was necessitated by global distraction in supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, hence there would soon be emergence of a new architecture where every country would try to be self-reliant to withstand any eventualities, Dr Bawumia stated.
The Vice President lamented that despite Ghana’s rich history of gold mining and exploration for over one hundred years, it was ranked sixth gold producing country globally, her gold reserves was 8.7 tonnes while countries like USA and Germany had about 8,000 and 2,000 tonnes gold reserves.
The three-day conference and exhibition attracted ECOWAS Federation of Chamber of Mines, Regulators, policymakers, captains of industry, the Diplomatic Community, and other stakeholders to share ideas, establish partnerships and network towards advancing the mining sector in the West African sub-region.
The event was on the theme: « Advancing a Legacy of Sustainable and Responsible Mining through Innovation and Partnerships ».
It is expected that the innovative ideas and solutions proposed by the stakeholders would be collated and action taken to ensure sustainable and responsible mining for socio-economic development.
Dr Bawumia expressed the government’s resolve to build a healthy, sound, and viable mining industry and thus, asked the Chamber to ensure all the mining components and linkages were firmly established-concession acquisition, corporate management, refinery as well as providing sound upstream and downstream services.
« The large-scale mining firms should work towards establishing a Mining Index for stock exchanges to accelerate sound socio-economic growth, » he added.
To that end, he said, there should be co-operation between local stock exchange companies, Ghana Exchange, and Security Commission and Regulatlors to achieve the set objective.
Dr Bawumia said Ghanaians should be encouraged and incentivized to own listed green fields for exploration projects.
Some key issues that would be discussed by the participants include investment in the mining sector, climate change and environmental challenges.
Dr Sulemana Koney, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, in his welcome remarks, said the conference would enable the participants to share ideas and help bridge the gap between the mining industry and other business value chain of the mining sector.
He observed that mining was a key sector of the global economy, therefore, stakeholders would solicit solutions on how to make it play a catalytic role in national development after three years of global COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Eric Asubonteng, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who chaired the conference, urged stakeholders in the mining industry to explore new business opportunities for accelerated national development, especially in the sub-region.
He assured of the Chamber’s determination to position Ghana as hub of mining services in West Africa.
Mr George Mireku Duker, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, said the Ministry would initiate innovative policies and collaborate with the Ghana Chamber of Mines towards advancing the country’s socio-economic development.
He expressed the Government’s resolve to fight illegal mining, hence the introduction of Community Mining Scheme to engage the youth for sustainable mining practices and employment.
He said the Mining Schemes would enable the country to build local business champions and enhance the socio-economic advancement of the nation.
Mr Duker expressed the Ministry’s readiness to support potential mining investors to build viable mining enterprises and ensure sustainable exploitation of the mineral resources.