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Business News of Friday, 8 February 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Ghana's achievements in mining laudable, but.... - Joyce Aryee

A Former Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Joyce R. Aryee, has espoused Ghana’s achievements in the mining sector but concedes that more needs to be done to make the desired impact in mining communities. She said, over the years mining had contributed to Ghana’s economic development but what was critical was how to ensure that the progress made in the sector reflected in the economic well-being of the people.

Contributing as a panel member at the Investing in Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa which officially came to a close Thursday, Dr Aryee said since 1983 mining had contributed 38.3 per cent to the country’s tax revenue and had created employment for about 28,000 people.

The panel discussion was on the theme: “Mining’s Economic Contribution to Sustainable Development.” The panel was was composed of representatives from civil society organisations, academia and industry.

The conference, which is the 19th edition, is the biggest mining event in Africa and the world. It assembled more than 7,000 individuals representing about 1,500 international companies from 100 countries and government delegations.

Dr Aryee said to help better the lives of mining communities, mining companies on their own decided to set up a fund to support the development of those areas and stressed that “mining should be seen as a people-centered development activity and not a destructive one,”

She was of the view that African governments needed to help in mining negotiations to help determine what to do with resources and cited Botswana as an example of a country that had set aside some money from the industry for development.

In an answer to a question on youth and women participation in mining, Dr Aryee, a communications and management consultant, remarked that several activities revolved around the sector which went beyond merely digging the ground.

Therefore, success in that sector, required skills and investors, coupled with holistic approach about the linkages, she said.

“Mining has to be seen as an integrated activity to make it more people-centered,” she added.

Another member of the panel, May Hermanus, Director for Sustainability in Mining and Industry at the University of Witwatersrand, stressed the need for mining companies to work together especially in the area of corporate social responsibility.