Gov’t Prioritizing Value Addition In Natural Resources – Prez Akuffo-Addo
Delivering a keynotes’ address at the Natural Resources Stakeholder Dialogue held in Accra, H.E Nana Akuffo-Addo has disclosed that government is prioritizing value addition in the natural resources sector in order to ensure optimal benefits from them.
The address which was delivered on Thursday 11 May, 2023 indicated that about 60 percent of the word’s current poorest live in sub-Saharan Africa and hence government was very particulate about strengthening local participation in refining extracted resources.
According to the president; Akuffo-Addo, several components including corruption, incompetence and political instability have cruelly contributed to the inadequate value addition to Africa’s resources.
“These include countries that hold huge deposits of iron ore, diamonds, bauxite and the largest mineral reserves in the world; the largest producer of cobalt, the second largest producer of industrial diamonds, and fifth largest producer of copper; as well as the world’s largest reserves of bauxite.”
“Worst of all, many of the areas where these resources are found appear to be among the most deprived areas in the world. In our country for example, Obuasi, which, for years, hosted the richest gold mine in the world, remains largely underdeveloped. The story is no different from other areas such as Tarkwa, Prestea, Wassa, and Bibiani, which have for centuries been the attraction for adventurers and fortune seekers,” he stressed.
The president also added that currently, statistics shows that Africa holds about 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, with higher proportions of gold, diamond, bauxite and manganese but has seen fairly low contributions from the minerals sector to socio-economic development.
“With all these resources, we should have been the richest continent in the world. The irony, however, is that Africa remains the poorest continent on the planet.”
“We cannot repeat these mistakes. While we understand that mining companies must make a profit from their business, it is important that this is done not at the expense of the lands and the people that provide these resources,” he said.