By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Minerals Commission Dr. Tony Aubynn says the adoption of proper local content policy can improve the image of mining companies in the country.
“One thing is certain, local content framework is increasingly gaining a central place in policy development in Ghana’s extractives industries,” he said in Accra yesterday.
Dr. Aubynn was speaking at a dialogue on mining governance organized by the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), an economic policy institute supporting Africa's long-term growth through transformation with support from the government of Australia.
Of late, Australian government is supporting a series of public forums in Ghana that will bring key players together to discuss the future of mining, and its role in promoting transformative development for the nation.
ACET is the main partner facilitating the Public-Private Sector Dialogue on mining governance in Ghana.
The Minerals Commission CEO said although the Mineral and Mining Law (PNDC Law 153) 1986 and the MMA (Act 703) 2006 contained key provisions of local content requirements, the legal framework provided limited guidance on implementation but the passage of the Regulations (LI 2173), Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 would become the ‘game changer.
He noted that Ghana’s desire to ensure that mining contributes to its economic and social development had “evolved rather slowly and without explicit policy in place.”
He said LI 2173 provided what he called “clear interpretation of the MMA 703” and focused on three key areas including the employment and promotion of local workforce, procurement of locally produced goods and services and additional licensing and reporting requirements.
“The winning formula for all stakeholders is to develop a concerted, collaborative strategy. What does that mean and how? It means developing an efficient and competitive local supplier networks for the goods and services that industry needs the most.”
Dr Aubynn further said “this takes time, consistent efforts and learning. It requires three levels of collaboration.”
The three levels include collaboration between industry and government, being an essential first step for a successful design and effective implementation of local content measures, as well as collaboration between the industry and local suppliers, he said.
He said the government has a role to play, not least through its industrial policy to signal directions, outline incentives and support to build capacity and productivity, adding that grassroots collaboration between mining companies and citizens in communities where mining operations occur was also key.
"A successful strategy expands the depth of local outsourcing, opens up opportunities for more local suppliers, creates jobs, promotes technology transfer through learning by doing and offers opportunities for local management. For industry, it means reduced supply chain costs, shorten delivery times and contributing to inclusive growth. For government, it means a broader tax and a diversified growth base.”
Australian High Commission’s First Secretary Development Cooperation, Zabeta Moutafis, who opened the dialogue, said her government was determined to help in discussing and building consensus around what she called “complex issues in local content in Ghana.
“The extractives sector has a key role to play in transforming and developing Ghana into the future.”