Ghana and Guinea are planning to engage in exchange programmes to share experiences and develop human capacity for the effective exploitation of their mineral resources, energy and oil and gas industries.
Under the programme Ghana would tap into its mass base of expertise in the mineral and extractive industries, and make available a training institution being put up by the Volta River Authority, as well as the University of Mines at Tarkwa, the training of Guinean personnel in the running of its mine and energy sector.
It would also share experience with Guinea on the development of a new code on her extractive industries.
The leaders of the two nations affirmed their commitment to co-operate to exert more control on their natural resources at the opening of a seminar on “Responsible Management of Mineral Resources,” in Accra.
The seminar, to provide a platform for more discussions on the mineral and extractive industries of the two West African nations, was part of events marking a two-day state visit of the Guinean President, Professor Alpha Conde, to Ghana.
The seminar and discussions were also a follow up to similar discussions, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, where the two leaders made presentations, some months earlier.
Opening the seminar, host President John Dramani Mahama stressed the need for resources of the African Continent to be used to the benefit of the people, and wondered why there was much contrast of affluence existing in residences of staff of multilateral companies and poverty among the masses in mining locations, in the recent past.
President Mahama said: “Africa must exert more control of its natural resources,” adding that there was the need for nations with similar situations to share experiences.
President Mahama noted that there had been a reduction in the expatriate staff in mining companies, positions he said were being taken over by Ghanaians, because of the training being offered by Ghanaian institutions.
“One of the key issues is to have the resource base to be able to carry out the objectives the company sets for itself,” President Mahama said.
He called for the formalization of Corporate Social Responsibilities so that effective guidelines would be established for multilateral companies rather than “brochures just declaring companies as good social citizens.”
President Mahama wondered why some mining companies are prepared to pay windfall taxes in their home countries but refuse to do so in the African countries where they operated.
President Conde, on his part announced that Guinea was fashioning out a new code for the extractive industries, with emphasis on more local content and transparency.
Since his arrival, President Conde, on Thursday witnessed Ghana’s 57th Independence Anniversary celebrations, toured the electricity generating facilities at the Akosombo Dam, and the Blue Skies Holding Company, a fruit processing company at Nsawam in the Eastern Region.
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