That Ghana abounds in natural resources is no news. The recent discovery of lithium and oil resources in commercial qualities are yet another indication of how resource-rich our country is.
An analysis of the landmass of Ghana and its soil texture by the foremost Soil Scientist in Africa, Dr Henry Benjamin Obeng of blessed memory revealed that our natural resources stretch from the south to the north of the country.
On the shores of the country are salt lagoons stretching from Winneba in the Central Region, Ada Songhor in the Greater Accra Region to the Keta Basin in the Volta Region.
Of these three salt mining potentials, Ada Songhor is the most viable as it has the potential to export over two million metric tonnes of salt annually.
However, it has been the most plagued area in terms of self-inflicted conflict by some members of the community who have, to all intent and purpose, avowed not to let the area see any form of development.
In the words of Robert Nester Marley, “in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty” in his album Rat Race.
It is within this context that Electrochem Ghana, a wholly-owned Ghanaian company, has taken up the mantle to develop the Ada-Songhor Salt basin to its full potential of producing over two million metric tonnes of salt annually.
Indeed, at the official launching ceremony in August last year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted that this was the first indigenous-owned mining firm of the scale and magnitude of international stature in the country and which is incidentally owned by an indigene of Ada.
At last year’s New Year’s School organised by the University of Ghana, Legon, Mr Daniel McKorley, the Group Executive Chairman and sole owner of Electrochem, made a very profound statement. To wit- Ghanaians do not control the economy-, we only contribute to it. He worried that Ghanaian businesses would rather feed off the crumbs left over by foreign companies.
Perhaps, it was with this in mind that the businessman ventured into this business to be the leading light of a Ghanaian business at the very top of a major economic activity in the country, especially in the mining eco-system while providing opportunities for the entire Ada community.
Over the years, however, attempts by previous governments to develop the area have resulted in sometimes mayhem and pure anarchy by a few people, whose sole purpose, is to benefit directly from the natural resources at the expense of the entire community and the nation at large.
The Graphic Business thinks that with Electrochem haven invested almost US$ 100 million in the 41,000 concession, we must, as a nation rise and say to the perennial troublemakers that “enough is enough”.
The vision of making Ada, the Salt City of Africa cannot and should not be allowed to fail. The employment opportunities it offers and the linkages this industry adds to the value chain of the electrochemical industry are tremendous. The Electrochem business model answers the question of how our national resources can benefit the people through its CSR projects.
It provides a sustainable business model for the entire enclave through the community pan initiative and the constant supply of brine to the communities as the artisanal salt-wining methods had rendered the lagoon dry.
We commend the government highly for providing the needed support for this business to thrive in an otherwise volatile environment and further urge all authorities to continue to provide the needed support to ensure that this time around, the company thrives.
The lawlessness and impunity must cease forthwith.
Ghana wins if Electrochem wins.