The 2019 Ghana Mining and Energy Summit that sets the agenda to foster growth and prosperity within the two sectors of the economy opened in Accra on Wednesday.
Organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Summit is on the theme: “Harnessing Mining and Energy to Accelerate National Development” would bring together experts in the energy and the mining sectors to chart the way forward for the industry.
Addressing the opening session, the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of Energy Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, said the Summit was critical to developing an effective platform for generation of ideas required to transform Ghana’s mining and energy industries.
The Summit, he said, was also essential because it provided inputs for manufacturers across the globe to boost the opportunities available in the value chain of mining and energy industries.
“At this moment in our development history, it has become necessary for us to deepen the contribution of mining and energy towards the growth of our economy,” he said.
Dr Adam said the goal of moving Ghana to the height of economic independence had proven to be even more dependent on reliable energy to propel industry and transform Ghana into a modern industrialized economy.
“This is why the government has worked tirelessly for the past two years to ensure that the availability of energy, be it power or fuel, is given the much-needed attention it deserves from a strategic planning point of view,” he said.
He said energy was critical to a nation’s industrialization adding that “the key elements of adequate, reliable and cost-effective electricity supply to industry are not lost on us as a government. We are aware that to industrialise, we need to create enterprises, which are not only competitive but also viable in the long-term.”
Mr Eric Asubonteng, President Ghana Chamber of Mines, said despite the challenges the country had faced with the ban on illegal mining, Ghana became the leading producer of Gold in Africa, displacing South Africa last year.
“It is vital that we put in the appropriate win-win measures to be able to tap all the value within the sector in order for the state to fully benefit from the minerals,” he said.
He said in spite of the performance of the country in gold production, most large-scale gold producers continued the necessary discipline of reorganizing and streamlining their business process.
“As a country, the time has come to ask ourselves whether we are adequately taking advantage of Ghana’s mining opportunities to enhance the nation’s chances at improving livelihood and reducing poverty.”
The Chamber, he said would continue to work with stakeholders in the industry in advocating for a realistic fiscal and regulatory regime based on fair participation by all.
Mr Suleiman Koney, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, said the summit allowed stakeholders to interrogate the issues militating against the growth and development of the two important sectors of the economy.