West Africa: Gold West Africa Initiative Organises Forum

23 July 2020

The Gold West Africa initiative conference is set to expand its offering to include planned festivities, an art exhibition and more activities extending to other West African countries.

A statement from the organisers explained that the activities would commence with a with a Gold Durbar from August 1st to 22nd, 2020, in Kano, which is a curated marketplace for trading and purchasing gold jewelry as well as showcasing inspired design and lifestyle products.

It would be followed by another market in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at the end of September, this time serving as a meeting point for artisanal gold producers with jewelers and traders and then ending with the Gold West Africa Conference and Gold House art exhibition and auction in Lagos in the month of November.

Speaking on the upcoming Gold West Africa initiatives, Event Manager, Ms. Nicole Smith, stated: "In 2019, we called 2020 the year of gold renaissance for Africa. As part of the gold value chain development in West Africa and renaissance of the West African gold markets and ancient trade routes, we began working with the governments of Nigeria and Burkina Faso and other stakeholders in West Africa on several gold initiatives including gold duty free week in Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

"However, given global market disruptions, travel restrictions and with national borders closed, the price of gold soared, the regional economic landscape changed, artisanal production and craftsmanship was impacted. Never has gold been more important to Africa and the need to developing its value chain been more daunting.

"We linked arms together with several collaborators across the world. We re-strategised and re-designed the initiatives for impact in the present regional economic and social climate knowing that 2020 truly must be marked as the year of gold renaissance for Africa."

She added: "Our objective with each of our initiatives is to develop a sustainable and empowered gold value chain in West Africa. This ranges from being able to harness capital for gold exploration, production and trade to understanding how gold is part of local culture and traditions; that there is a significant consumer market for gold jewelry or savings products, to finally integrating gold into an ecosystem where there is economic impact and benefit."

Speaking further on what delegates and stakeholders should expect from this year's festival, Smith said there would also be an unveiling of a digital platform to buy and sell African gold.

She added, "Also, following last year's policy conference, it was clear that access to finance was a key factor in developing the value chain. This year, Gold West Africa presents a project finance and investment deal room, showcasing artisanal, small and medium scale gold projects and linking these projects to an investor audience."

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