President, Nana Akufo-Addo, says the mining industry has what it takes to help make the economic transformation sought after in Africa, and, thereby, make the African peoples prosper.
Speaking at the 2019 edition of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, the world’s largest mining investment conference, President Akufo-Addo stated that it is not right that Africa, which is so rich in the minerals that are sought after by the world, should remain inhabited by the poorest people on the globe.
Whilst acknowledging that African countries have not always done well in the negotiations with the companies that have mined her minerals in the past, African, today, has come of age, and should not have to give unusual tax and royalty incentives, and mining companies should not expect to make extraordinary profits on the continent.
President Akufo-Addo also added that negotiations between countries and companies should be transparent, accessible and easily understandable by citizens, and that it should be done in language that does not need to be interpreted by experts.
“As I said at the ceremony, it is my hope and expectation that, this time round, under the new management of AngloGold Ashanti, the development of Obuasi will reflect the wealth its soil produces,” he added.
Minerals, President Akufo-Addo explained, are a public resource, and the negotiations between countries and companies should be transparent, accessible and easily understandable by citizens, and that it should be done in language that does not need to be interpreted by experts.
“Communities should be able to examine mining contracts, find out how much revenue has been generated, and how, and on what it is being spent,” he said, adding that “long and bitter experience means both sides, African governments and mining companies, have to work hard to gain the trust of the people.”
With countries like Canada, Australia, the Americas and South Africa having spectacular examples of considerable wealth created amongst individuals and corporations as a result of significant discoveries in far-away lands, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “mining, can help rapidly to grow Africa’s manufacturing sector, and be the champion of economic growth on the continent.”
This, he added, will not happen if Africa remains the place to come and dig minerals that are exported in their raw condition to be processed outside.
“We cannot, and should not continue to be merely exporters of raw materials to other countries. The value chain of mineral extraction has great potential for job-creation, and can form an essential basis for the transformation of economies around the continent,” he added.