The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A Jinapor has urged African countries to make investment opportunities attractive for investors while insisting on the importance of value addition for the growth of their country’s mineral infrastructure.
He stressed the need to move away from the “dig and ship” approach and highlighted two essential pillars to help achieve that: first he said is insisting on value addition, and local participation and two is ensuring that states and governments provide the necessary infrastructure and environment, including cadastre and other facilitated systems, for investors to operate, optimize, and maximize benefits shared equitably.
The Minister emphasized, “You cannot achieve value addition or participate at the highest end of the value chain if the government doesn’t establish a proper, investor-friendly environment. It’s crucial, and governments must prioritize this.”
The Minister was Contributing to a Ministerial Symposium panel discussion on the topic; “Pushing Africa into a new investment era with solutions to the continent’s greatest challenges” at the ongoing “African Mining Indaba” conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday, 4th February, 2024.
He added that fundamental elements, such as a solid and consistent rail system, reliable infrastructure, and power systems, must be in place to attract private entities effectively.
Using Ghana as a case study, he explained that governments should have a policy framework where both the state and investors play their roles. For instance, in the context of bauxite, Ghana is working towards building an integrated aluminum industry, with a policy framework supervised by President Akufo-Addo to exploit and manage resources effectively.
The Minister highlighted Ghana’s efforts to strike a balance between value addition and indigenous participation on one hand and the importance of a mutually satisfactory arrangement for all parties involved on the other hand.
He acknowledged the challenge some African countries face with changing government policies but stressed the need for sustainable policies in the continent’s best interest.
Addressing private sector participation and investment in Ghana, the Minister mentioned the successful establishment of an automobile industry, attributing it to a sensible policy framework that aligns with the primary goal of private sector investments – making a profit.
He advocated for synchronizing policy frameworks across Africa to universally promote value addition. The Minister referred to the African Mining Vision as a guiding principle and cited the joint effort of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in structuring a common market pricing on cocoa as a positive example of African collaboration for growth.
Hon. Jinapor and the other panelists in the end agreed that the new perspective on mining sector investment in Africa, should be envisioning a shift from the “rich Africa with poor Africans” model to one resulting in “rich Africans from rich Africa,” catalyzed by mining.
The Ministerial Symposium is a high-level, invite-only policy roundtable, that brings together Mining Ministers to develop and discuss a shared vision for Africa’s future sustainable mining and mineral value supply chains. The Symposium aims to strengthen collaboration between government, investors, and the private sector in order to improve bilateral relationships across the continent.