Low capacity hampers Ghana’s local participation in mining

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mining

The low level of human and technical capacity in Ghanaian mining communities has hampered the full implementation of the country’s local content and local participation law in these communities, a report has said.

The report titled, “Exploring the local content potential for participation in gold and oil and gas exploration in Ghana,” was received here on Wednesday.

It urged authorities and stakeholders to take steps to improve the capacity of members of these mining communities so they could participate fully in large-scale mining in their communities.

“The level of local content participation in the mining communities is proportional to the available local capacity,” the report authored by WACAM, a mining sector advocacy group, with support from OSIWA and the Ford Foundation said.

The study which carried out extensive research in two inland mining communities: Tano North and Nkoranza South municipalities said, although the local content policy introduced by the government was noble, it had its challenges.

Ghana passed the Local Content and Local Participation Act in 2013 to ensure that Ghanaians were prioritized for employment and benefits from the extractives sector and deepen the backward integration through procurement and use of locally manufactured inputs, which would create more employment for locals.

Ghana seeks to prevent the situation where the lack of adequate local participation in the extractive industry had created animosity between local communities with youth groups on one side and international firms with the government on the other side in some resource-rich countries.

This local participation is actualized in Ghana mostly through local employment creation, the supply of local goods and services, as well as the transfer of technology to local industries.

“However, the goods and services that these capital-intensive require are above the local capacity to provide in terms of the volumes, quality, and levels of sophistication,” the report received here on Wednesday said.

It added that the technologies applied in these industries were generally too advanced for local industries.

The dean for development studies at the University of Cape Coast, Emmanuel Yamoah Tenkorang, who led the research, said in an interview that, in most cases, the local suppliers of input to the mining firms only imported these inputs for onward supply.

“This defeats the intension to use mining to develop local technical capacity in the manufacture of inputs to ensure technology transfer in these areas to Ghanaians,” he said.

Ghana, where small-scale mining accounts for almost 30 percent of total output, overtook South Africa last year as Africa’s largest gold producer

South Africa slumped in production due to mining sector labor issues and unfavorable terms introduced by the government.

Associate executive director for WACAM Hannah Owusu-Koranteng told Xinhua that these local communities needed education and sensitization to understand and assert their rights in the face of natural resource exploitation.

She added that girls should be encouraged in basic and secondary schools to venture into subject areas that would create avenues for them in the resource extraction industries. Enditem

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