The Ghanaian Chronicle

By: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh

This came to light at the World Bank and stakeholders’ validation workshop in Accra. It was attended by policy makers, private sector and civil society representatives, and they discussed the most effective ways of increasing local procurement by the mining industry in West Africa.

The bank noted that: ‘ Boosting local procurement, or the use of local suppliers (as opposed to international-based ones) of products and services in the mining sector, helps to ensure that the benefits of mining are more evenly spread across the economy of a country, creating jobs and stimulating the sustainable development of local enterprises‘.

The West Africa workshop provided a unique opportunity for regional policy makers to discuss and provide feedback to an on-going regional study entitled             -‘Increasing Local Procurement by the Mining Industry in West Africa’.

The discussions about the regional study, sponsored by the World Bank’s Oil, Gas and Mining unit, and other local institutions, aim to focus on the topics, including approaches to defining local content, policies and legislation related to local content in West Africa, mining company efforts to increase local procurement of goods and services  and specific opportunities for expanding local supply.

The World Bank’s Operations Officer, Kristina Svensson, who is coordinating the regional study, explained that local procurement by mining companies could bring significant benefits to a wide range of stakeholders in resource-rich countries.

She added that due to the large scale of current and potential mining activity in West Africa, countries have a huge opportunity to realize these socio-economic benefits.

The Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, Ben Aryee was delighted to say that, ‘This is an important event since it brings together, for the first time, policy makers and private sector actors to debate specific actions for increasing local procurement in the mining industry‘.

For her, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines, Ms. Joyce Aryee believes ‘buying local goods and services serves as a catalyst for private sector development, and is one of the most significant contributions the mining sector can provide to Ghana and to the region’

The Government of Ghana has already taken a proactive approach on this issue and agreed with the Chamber of Mines on a common framework to boost local procurement for the benefit of the whole economy.

This framework is subject of a Memorandum of Understand (MOU) agreed between the Minerals Commission, the Chamber of Mines and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The significant mining industry in West Africa (supplying, for example, 9% of the world’s bauxite, and 8% of the world’s gold) is expected to continue to grow with a number of large gold, iron ore, and bauxite projects in advanced planning stages.

Furthermore, there are significant unexploited mineral resources across the region, including uranium, copper and diamonds.