Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, has tasked the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Board to transform the mining sector through effective partnerships and alliances.
He said the move would help create jobs, boost economic growth and support the country’s transformation agenda of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
The Minister gave the task during the inauguration of the reconstituted Board of MIIF consistent with the requirements of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Act 978) as amended.
He said in the past two years the government tasked the Board to deliver a strong MIIF to support the long-term developmental agenda, build Ghana’s capacity and transform minerals and metals exploration and mining in Ghana.
“Undoubtedly, we have made significant progress in this regard. MIIF worked with GRA to realign revenues from our gold royalties and engaging with stakeholders with emphasis on non-gold royalties,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the Fund currently has GH₵1.9 billion under management.
He said a lot more remained to be done if “we are to achieve the Fund’s mandate of building a world class entity and Africa’s leading fund of its kind with capacity to lead social responsible.”
The Minister said in 2019, Ghana’s mining and quarrying sector was the 2nd largest contributor to GDP, accounting for 14.9 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and was ranked number one in gold production in Africa and 6th on the global list, producing 139 tonnes in 2020.
This reflected the significance of the sector to the overall national output, and the global minerals market.
He said the sector attracted more than half of all foreign direct investment and generated more than one-third of all export revenues, contributing 43 per cent of export revenues in 2019, increasing from 39 per cent in 2018.
He said the role of MIIF to the industry as a strategic and critical lever for economic transformation could not be overemphasised and there was no better time than now for them to challenge themselves to take the Fund and the mining industry to the next level.
Mr Ofori-Atta urged the Board to work together to build a world class Fund and lead the modernization of the mining sector.
He said, “I understand some work has already started on a number of initiatives, including the small-scale mining incubation strategy.”
The Minister said this was to inject equity into selected small scale mining entities in the form of cooperatives or aggregated entities Mineral marketing strategy which was to buy gold as part of investments to develop the non-gold sector such as quarrying.
Mr Ofori-Atta said it was imperative for the members of the reconstituted Board to review these initiatives and ensure that they were continued to the point of completion.
He said the Central Bank recently launched its domestic gold purchase programme as part of efforts to build gold reserves.
“The gold purchase programme will pave the way for Bank of Ghana to grow its foreign exchange reserves to foster confidence and enhance currency stability,” and urged the Board to partner with them on this initiative,” he said.
He assured the Board of the Ministry’s support as they go about creating a “fit-for-purpose” MIIF capable of maximizing revenue from mining and exploration for the benefit of Ghana and Ghanaians, monetizing mining sector income in a beneficial, transparent accountable and sustainable manner.
Professor Douglas Boateng, the Chairman of the Board, commended the previous Board for their role in establishing the Fund.
“l am looking forward to working with my other esteem Board Members to further advance the goal of the Fund,” he said.
The Board Chairman said as Directors they were without fully committed to the Company’s Act, which provided guidelines to protecting and building shareholder value.
He said the Board would use their duly authorized supervisory role to guide MIIF into long term wealth creation for Ghana and look forward to collaborating with other African countries to achieve the objectives.
Prof Boateng said, ”we must also enter innovative and performance driven partnerships to help maximise the current income from the sector’s royalties.”