The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged mining companies operating in Ghana and the entire West African sub-region to work with Governments and regulatory bodies to establish a mining index on local Stock Exchanges to allow both the owners and investors in the minerals to benefit from its exploitation.
The benefits of a mining index on the local bourse are enormous, enabling both the State, Mining Companies, beneficiary communities and investors to attract the necessary capital and built in incentives for all involved, Dr Bawumia indicated.
Speaking at the opening session of the three-day West African Mining and Power Exhibition and Conference (WAMPOC/WAMPEX) in Accra on Wednesday, 1st June 2022 Dr Bawumia urged African countries to hasten the development of the capacity to interact with the world's natural resources banks, fund managers and the leading stock exchanges in the world to allow locals to benefit more from the minerals bequeathed to them by nature.
"In this regard, let me sound a clarion call on the big mining companies operating here in Ghana and indeed, the West African sub-region, to work towards the emergence of a mining index on our Stock Exchanges and thereby accelerate their growth and significance in African mining.
"This will require deep collaboration among the local stock exchanges, their regulators, as well as mining firms to incentivize Ghanaians to own listed greenfield exploration projects as the upside on such investments tend to be higher", he noted.
While acknowledging the enormous resources found on the African continent, the Vice President called for a careful balance between the profit-seeking needs of investors, and the sustainable living needs of the communities within which the minerals are found.
"Yes, Africa is endowed with many mineral resources but while the availability of the resources is important, the over-riding aim for all parties should be the evolution of a carefully balanced mechanism to ensure that the resources of the state benefit the owners of the resource and at the same time extend benefits to investors to ensure that the State is able to sustainably attract the needed capital, investment and technical know-how from a world which has come to the realisation that Africa is the continent of the future.
"Significantly, the African Union has been reassessing critically the real significance of mining to host country economies over the years. As a result of these efforts, the African Mining Vision (AMV) emerged as far back 2009. In essence the African Mining Vision seeks to ensure the transparent, responsible, equitable and optimal exploitation of Africa's Mineral resources for broad-based sustainable socio-economic development for the host Governments and its citizenry," he disclosed.
He challenged African countries and mining companies to collaborate on a sub-regional and even regional basis to derive the most benefit from the exploitation of Africa's mineral resources.
"We need a strategy to enable us to pool the mineral resource rich countries in West Africa and beyond together to assume the mantle in the transformation of our economies with a greater awareness of mining as a more comprehensive and transformational economic activity and as a key back bone for our country.
"Given the paucity of size of stand-alone countries it is only proper that we consider regional dimensions to local content since individual African Country Markets may be too small to elicit the much-needed investments. Investors desire economies of scale to justify such investments and it is necessary that we consider the regional economic blocs in Africa as sub-markets which can then collectively constitute the building blocks of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)."