The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has urged the government to adopt what it termed integrated planning approach for the country’s mining sub-sector.
According to ACEP, the adoption of the integrated planning has become necessary due to the minimum benefits that the state derives from the extraction of mineral resources.
The energy policy think tank made the call on Wednesday in Accra at a national level stakeholder forum on mineral extraction for sustainable development.
Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, who made the call in a presentation, said that the extraction of the country’s mineral resources over the years has not truly benefited the masses as it should.
That, he said, was because government’s approach to mining over the years has strongly focused on revenue generation and not a holistic approach for national development.
He further said that there had been poor planning for the mining sector over the years by successive governments, a development he said had deprived mining communities of the needed developmental projects from mining.
He added that the planning approach under the proposed integrated process should take into account value addition, job creation, skills and technology development and above all the need to constantly improve the livelihoods of residents of mining communities.
Speaking on the topic, “Leveraging Ghana’s new mineral resources for sustainable development,” Mr. Boakye stressed that “it is not enough to decide to mine but to tie other benefits to the extraction of minerals.”
According to him, policy makers in the sector ought to “comprehensively analyze whether it makes sense to mine before we mine,” adding that we need to make sure the wrong of the past is not extended to the future.
Meanwhile, an official of ACEP, Pauline Anaman, in a presentation under the theme: “A policy Gap Analysis and fiscal benchmaking of Ghana’s minerals and mining sector to optimize gains from the Sheini Iron Ore Wealth,” has explained that petroleum extraction has seen much progress over the years with respect to its contributions to the State than the mining sector.
She said that the extraction of the iron ore deposit at Sheini in the Northern Region should lead to better infrastructure development for that community.
By Melvin Tarlue