The Ghana Chamber of Mines on Tuesday, 18th July, 2017, held an interactive session with the Eastern Region Press Corps as part of its stakeholder engagement programme. The event which took place at the Capital View Hotel in Koforidua brought together 36 media personnel in the region and representatives of media houses in Accra. The meeting was facilitated by the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Mr. Sulemanu Koney, with support from the Director of External Relations and Communications, Mr. Ahmed Nantogmah.
Delivering the keynote presentation, Mr. Sulemanu Koney gave an overview of the mining industry in Ghana and its contribution to Ghana’s economy. He stated that the Chamber works closely with various regulators to encourage more local businesses to invest in essential inputs for the mining industry. According to him, local content has the potential to improve the fiscal consolidation of the economy and great business opportunities.
The CEO further discussed the contribution of mining companies to the development of host communities. According to him, the Chamber thrives on building strong partnerships with host communities in order to operate productively. He indicated that through the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects and initiatives of member companies, communities benefit from crucial services that transform their livelihoods. He informed the journalists that in 2016, member companies spent over 12.2 million dollars on CSI initiatives.
Mr. Koney made a strong case for the efficient use of resources gleaned from royalties. He intimated that mining was not making a positive impact on communities because the royalties were not channeled into the right developmental projects. He stated that the Chamber was engaging stakeholders on the need for the state to pass a Mineral Revenue Management Law to bring more transparency into how mineral revenue are used and to stipulate which sectors should benefit from such revenue.
The CEO of the Chamber used the opportunity to launch the 2017 edition of the Ghana Mining Industry Awards (GMIA). He informed the participants that the awards gala will be held on 24th November, 2017 to celebrate outstanding performances in the mining industry. He urged them to participate in this year’s event by sending in entries for the category on Best Mining Reporter.
On his part, the Regional Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr. Maxwell Kudekor, thanked the Chamber for creating the platform for such healthy deliberations. He said journalists in the region will continue to support sectors that contribute immensely to the development of the nation and law enforcement agencies to weed out criminals destroying the environment in the name of mining.
He further urged the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to undertake greater stakeholder engagements in order to realise better results in the campaign against illegal mining.
Mr. Nantogmah ended the meeting by expressing his profound gratitude to the media in the Eastern Region for being close partners of the Chamber and encouraged them to continue to educate the public about the contributions of the mining sector to the economy as well as holding companies and everyone accountable for environmental responsibility.