In recent report of the Economy Times, the Ghana Chamber of Mines alarmed that, foreign direct investments in the mining industry has declined over the years.

According to the Ghana Chamber of Mines, relatively new mining exploration in the country has decline drastically over the years.

A situation it described as undesirable and critical to the sustainability of the industry which is one of the three major export earners for the country.

It cited a number of disincentive factors contributing to the decline trend which the Chamber sees as a sign of collapsing mining industry in the country.

Among some of the factors mentioned are the overburdened pre-exploration taxation that mining companies have to incurred while it is different in almost all the other mining countries in the Africa especially in the sub region.

The chief executive officer of the chamber, Sulemanu Koney has therefore called for the need for the government to reconsider some of its mining policies, specifically the fiscal regime policies and directives.

But, rather good news following the publication is that, the government has shown concern and is currently on a drive to attract more investors into the mining industry.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is calling on the South Africa investors to channel their investments into supplies of chemical inputs and relevant equipment to support mining firms.
This will help to make mining inputs readily available and comparatively cheaper to help in cost reduction in their operations to sustain and attract more new mining exploration interest or proposals as well.

Mr. Koney at a workshop organized for members of the Journalists For Business Advocacy (JBA) in Accra last week, emphasized that, reforms in the mineral code of Burkina Faso has positioned the country as a significant site for exploration in Africa in recent times.

Similarly, Cote d?ivoire?s revised mining code has been hailed as the ?game changer? on the African continent. Currently, Cote d?ivoire has over taken Ghana in terms of green field projects.
Also, Senegal is actively encouraging investments into its mining sector.

It is in light of these keen competition for the little foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining exploration in Africa from other countries on the continent that necessitate the repositioning of Ghana?s mining industry to be able to maintain its enviable second position on the continent in mining.

?It therefore eminent that, to sustain our mining industry we need a pipeline of investments in exploration, development and production,? Mr. Koney urged.

Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, speaking at the opening of a two-day South Africa-Ghana trade investment seminar in Accra noted that, there are good opportunities in the area of refineries and processing of jewelry.

The seminar was as a result of an Outward Selling and Investment Mission led by the South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry to Ghana.

It was also to increase trade and investment, and to deepen relations between South Africa and Ghana.

He said Ghana and South Africa had a lot in common when it comes to mining and capital equipment, than any other sector.

?Our shared experiences in this sector provide a good platform for further cooperation and growth of investment in Ghana,? he added.

He said government would continue to design systems and business models to enable the country regulate small scale mining activities.

Miners in the country have over and over again complained that, exploration investment is highly expensive compared to that of other countries, that is, considering the taxes and other levies that have to be paid even before exploration activities begins does not make sense to a serious business entity.

However, the Ghana chamber of mines has said it is engaging government on the possible reconsideration of the taxes before exploration issues and pleads on the government to consider ?growing the pie of mining revenue? to have a prolonged future benefits to the country.

Mr. Koney stated that, it has been difficult times for the mining companies all over the world, and have to constantly review their business strategies especially cost management to survive. This gives an indication that, the industry is virtually collapsing at a high rate and something has to be done now to reignite and sustain interest of miners in the country.

However, the Deputy Minister said the Ghanaian economy holds the potential for business growth, looking at the business delegation visiting the country.

He said both countries had maintained cordial relations for a long time on political and social ties and these have grown from strength to strength over the years and the benefit continued to manifest in the welfare of its people.

He said government would continue to create the enabling environment for investors to partner with locals to develop their businesses to improve on the economies of both countries.
Mr Mzwandile Masina, the South African Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said the trade mission served as a means for companies, which are looking for investment opportunities to penetrate Ghana.

He said trade relations between South Africa and Ghana had recorded an upward trend from R2.6 billion to R10.8 billion, from 2010 to 2014.

The South African Deputy Minister said more than 30 business delegation were on the mission are ready to do business and explore investment opportunities in Ghana.
He said the countries would work together to address trade barriers to enable smooth business operations to improve on their economies.

?The African time has come, since it positions the continent for global transformation,? he added.
He expressed the hope that the event would create the platform to explore ideas to develop business cooperation.

Ms Lulama Marytheresa Xingwana, the High Commissioner of South Africa, said with the seminar, more partnerships would be to promote trade and investments.

She said with the launch of the direct flight from Accra to Washington, it would position Ghana as the right destination to the world

She said the South African Airways had also partner with the Africa World Airlines to create job opportunities for Ghanaians.

Sectors targeted for the mission are agriculture and agro-processing, build environment professionals, infrastructure, furniture and wood processing energy and mining.

Source : Adnan Adams Mohammed

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