extractive sector
An open pit mine in the town of Prestea, where Oxfam parter organization in Ghana, WACAM has been supporting the Concerned Citizens Association of Prestea in its efforts to negotiate with a mining company around issues related to air and water pollution, and the proposed expansion of mining operations.

Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday opened a regional forum on the extractive industry in Ghana to find answers to Africa’s and Ghana’s inability to add value to resources.

The three-day forum, spearheaded by the Ghanaian government and Uongozi Institute which is under the Office of the President of Tanzania, brought together participants and experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and America.

Bawumia said the government was committed to moving Ghana’s extractive sector beyond the old paradigm as part of its vision to move Ghana beyond aid.

Citing figures from industry experts, he said it was imperative for Africa in general and Ghana in particular to add value to its raw materials in order to reap bigger benefits.

According to him, industry estimates indicate that the price per carat increases roughly eight-fold from rough diamond to polished gem-quality diamond. The earning margins are much higher in the upstream sector (16-20 percent) than in the middle market sector (1-8 percent).

“The value of bauxite increases nearly six times if refined into alumina and nearly 33 times if converted into aluminum metal alloy. Given the various stages of their value chain, I know which part I want to be in,” he said.

He said Ghana was in the process of drafting a bill to parliament for the establishment of an integrated aluminum development authority which will play the important role of promoting responsible mining to reflect the president’s commitment of setting up an integrated aluminum industry to serve Ghana and Africa.

The building of the integrated aluminum industry is part of the government’s strategy to encourage the private sector to create and capture more value for Ghana’s resources, Bawumia said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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