President of the General Assembly of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EEDCOM), Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, has expressed his disquiet about the eroding trust between government and mining companies due to what he considers to be an unwarranted mistrust as a result of perceptions that have not been adequately addressed.
He stated that such mistrust only goes to ultimately hamper the relationship between the two parties and adversely affect productivity on the part of mine operators and the value it offers the state.
Mr. Addo-Kufuor, who is the Immediate Past President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, was speaking at the 4th meeting of the Executive Council and General Assembly of the EFEDCOM which took place at the Noom Hotel, Conakry, Guinea recently.
The meeting, which brought together members of the federation discussed ways to improve collaboration between their respective countries. The 4th General Assembly was attended by representatives from Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.
The EFEDCOM was established in 2016 to bring together the Chambers of Mines and Mining associations in countries within the ECOWAS sub-region to advocate for policies to promote investment in responsible mining.
Addressing the assembly, Mr. Addo-Kufuor indicated that while mining companies are minded to operate responsibly, they require effective collaboration with governments to deepen transparency and accountability in their respective operations. He was of the view that countries must work together to create an enabling environment for investments into the sector. He urged the various Chambers and Mining Associations to work together and also share lessons on various aspects of mining.
Mr. Addo-Kufuor expressed his appreciation to Guinea for hosting the meeting and congratulated the country for the strides it has made in promoting investment in the mining industry. Guinea is currently the 5th largest producer of gold on the continent behind South Africa, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso and also the leading producer of bauxite in Africa.
The Special Guest of Honour, Hon. Abdoulaye Magassouba, Guinean Minister for Mines and Geology stated that the mining sector is undergoing policy reforms in Guinea, adding that the government is going through the processes in collaboration with the Guinea Chamber of Mines.
He assured mining companies operating in the country of the Guinean government’s commitment to developing a robust mining sector to stimulate foreign direct investments.
According to him, West Africa will benefit immensely from the creation of the EFEDCOM, since it will help reposition the sub-region as a mining powerhouse in the global economy.
At the meeting, the federation declared its support for the Africa Mining Vision’s Private Sector Compact and committed to work with relevant players to ensure that it is updated regularly to reflect the evolving issues that need to be addressed to realise the AMV. The Association Professionnelle des Industries Extractives du Togo (APIET) was also admitted into the federation as an ordinary member, bringing the number of members to six.
Source: Joy News