The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has advocated for a strategic shift in the exploitation of natural resources in African countries, emphasizing the importance of value addition. Speaking at the Africa Prosperity Dialogues 2024 in Aburi, Mr. Jinapor urged nations to follow Ghana’s blueprint in incorporating value addition practices to ensure responsible and successful resource exploitation.
Addressing the theme of the conference, “Delivering Prosperity in Africa: Produce, Add Value, and Trade,” Minister Jinapor highlighted the fundamental roles of value addition and local participation in delivering substantial benefits for African economies and their citizens. He emphasized the need to move away from the historical practice of “digging and shipping” raw resources and instead focus on adding value to minerals, thereby enhancing revenue generation and fostering economic transformation.
Mr. Jinapor shared policy interventions implemented by the Ghanaian government to inspire other nations. “We cannot transform our economies if we continue to dig and ship,” he stated, emphasizing President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to adding value to mineral resources. The government has established a 400kg gold refinery through a public-private partnership, aiming to refine locally produced gold and secure a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) certification.
He also highlighted initiatives by the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) to promote integrated aluminum and iron and steel industries. Additionally, the government is advancing plans for a $450 million manganese refinery in Ghana.
Minister Jinapor stressed the significance of local participation, asserting that citizens should benefit directly from their countries’ resources. The government is collaborating with the Ghana Chamber of Mines to develop a policy compelling large-scale mining companies to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange, creating opportunities for Ghanaian ownership through shares acquisition.
“To derive optimal benefit from our natural resources, Africans must participate fully across the entire value chain of the industry,” he affirmed. Minister Jinapor highlighted the enactment of the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431), aiming to promote local content in the mining sector.
In pursuit of this legislation, he mentioned the expansion of the local procurement list, increasing items reserved for Ghanaians from 29 to 50. This move is estimated to retain approximately US$3 billion annually in the country that would have otherwise been exported.
The 2024 Africa Prosperity Dialogues, organized by the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), brought together political and business leaders to discuss strategies for fostering prosperity and development across the continent. The dialogue series took place from Thursday, January 25, 2024, to Saturday, January 28, 2024.