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Africa Must Adopt Common Position To Benefit From Its Natural Resources-Abu Jinapor

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The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor has stated that, for Africa to benefit from its natural resources, particularly in the wake of the emerging critical minerals, it must adopt a common position on the exploitation and management of the minerals.


“It is self-defeating to have a situation where one country is insisting on value addition, indigenous participation and enhanced fiscal benefits, while another is opening its doors to companies to extract and export these minerals in their raw state”.
Hon. Samuel Jinapor made this statement when speaking at the 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues held at Peduase Presidential Lodge in the Akuapem Hills of the Eastern Region on the theme,
“Delivering Prosperity in Africa: Produce, Add Value and Trade,”

He disclosed that over the years, the exploitation of resources has not benefitted the African peoples. “According to the 2023 Multidimensional Poverty Index Report, nearly half of the world’s One point One Billion (1.1 billion) poor people live in sub-Saharan Africa. And using the International Monetary Funds’ GDP per capita income, twenty-five (25) out of the thirty (30) poorest countries in the world are in Africa, including countries with large deposits of natural resources”.
Backing his point with evidence, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister revealed that in Ghana, despite mining gold for over a century, and despite being the leading producer of gold on the continent, the country still lacks refineries to refine the precious mineral. “And even though we boast of the second largest smelter in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), we have to export our bauxite resources in their raw state, and import alumina, which is refined bauxite, for VALCO to smelt into aluminum”.


He indicated that there is no way one can talk about Africa’s prosperity, without talking about her natural resources, which, for years, have been the fulcrum around which most of the economies revolve.

“After years of mining, Africa still holds some thirty percent (30%) of the world’s mineral reserves, with large deposits of green and emerging minerals, including: ninety-one percent (91%) of the platinum group of metals; seventy-nine percent (79%) of phosphate rock; fifty-three percent (53%) of ccobalt forty-six percent (46%) of manganese; thirty-five percent (35%) of chromite; twenty-five percent (25%) of bauxite; twenty-one percent (21%) of graphite; six percent (6%) of copper; and substantial deposits of lithium, iron ore, and rare earth elements”.
Africa Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor mentioned, can, and must benefit from her mineral resources but said, it requires concerted efforts and the commitment of all.

“It requires policies and strategies that NOT only ensures that we mine sustainably, but, also, add value to what we mine. It requires policies and strategies that will promote intra-African trade for our mineral resources, to retain the value of these minerals in-continent. We are enjoined by the African Mining Vision to use the exploitation of our mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and economic development”.


The Minister therefore, called for the need to pursue value addition and indigenous participation in the exploitation of African natural resources with utmost vigour, resilience and resolution.
“That is why President Akufo-Addo insisted that until we develop a policy for the exploitation and management of our green minerals, NO lease should be granted for their exploitation. Consequently, we have developed a policy which provides for a minimum of thirty percent (30%) indigenous participation, a strict requirement to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange, enhanced local content, increased royalties, and mandatory establishment of a refinery to ensure that we do not export our green minerals in their raw state”.

 

 

 

 

 

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