Ghana exported nearly $5.8 billion worth of minerals as of the end of October, 2018 as against $6 billon minerals exported in 2017, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison, has said.
With such gains, he said, the country was on course in meeting the $6 billion revenue target in mineral export each year.
Speaking at the 2018 Ghana Mining Industry Awards last Friday, Dr Addison said: “These trends show that mining is indeed very important not only for export but also foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.
“Looking at fiscal management in terms of the contribution of mining royalties to domestic revenue, this has also increased to GH¢749 million from GH¢261 million in 2016,” he stated.
The awards, which coincided with the 90th anniversary of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, recognised and celebrated individuals and companies for their outstanding achievement and excellence in the mining industry.
The Asanko Gold Ghana Limited was adjudged the Mining Company of the Year 2018, while Mr Alwyn Pretorius, the Regional Senior Vice-President of Newmont Africa and Latif Iddrissu, a reporter with Multi Media, received the Mining Personality and Best Mining Reporter of the year respectively.
Dr Addison said the data available at the BoG had suggested that mining currently provided more than 10, 000 jobs annually in spite of the various disruptions, such as power generation and fluctuation in the price of the metal, which impacted on the industry.
He also said due to improvement in the country’s export performance in 2018, Ghana had swung from being a country that recorded trade deficit to one that was currently recording trade surpluses.
He attributed such major turnaround in the country’s microeconomic fundamentals to the stability of the cedis against major foreign currencies.
On the importance of diversification and adding value to the country’s mineral resources to improve forward and backward linkages associated with the mining industry, Dr Addison said “I think that this is the best way in which the Ghanaian economy can indeed enjoy the benefit of gold to our local economies.”
Robust financial sector
The governor said that there had been an improvement in the country’s economic activity, with major export commodities—gold, oil and cocoa—doing so well and inflation rate reducing to 9.5 per cent.
He, however, expressed worry about the influence of the external environment on the domestic economy, particularly, changes in monetary policy in the US and its impact on the exchange rate.
He indicated that by restoring sanity and trust in the financial sector, the central bank was optimistic that by the end of December “we will have a financial sector that is very robust and well-capitalised with better corporate governance which should inure to the benefit of all us.”
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, said the government was committed to promoting sustainable extraction and optimising the use of mineral resources in the country.
He disclosed that the government would soon put in place a governing board of the Minerals Develop Fund as stipulated in Act 192 to enhance community participation in the mining resources.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, said the mining industry still had immense unexplored potential to significantly create sustainable livelihoods for the people and contribute more to the socio-economic development of the country.
Harnessing such potential, he said, would require the ingenuity, commitment, diligence of stakeholders within the mining industry to address challenges facing the sector.