Lawyer Samuel A. Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources says there must be a careful balance struck between ensuring citizens get the most out of their resources and attracting the cash and technology required for effective resource development.
Samuel A. Jinapor, speaking on a panel about ‘Resource Nationalism’ at the ongoing African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa, highlighted that striking the correct balance between the aforementioned challenges will solve the resource nationalism headache.
Lawyer Jinapor, speaking about Ghana’s strategy to create an enabling environment in the mining sector, claimed that the country’s democratic ideals serve as the bedrock for investment in its resources.
“The rule of law is not an exception, is the law, democratic accountability is ingrained in the Ghanaian society,” he said.
The mining sector in Ghana, according to the minister, has a defined structure, guaranteeing potential investors that the government will respect and adhere to contractual obligations.
“If an investor were to come into Ghana, he knows the local content laws clearly, he knows the physical framework we work with in the country clearly and the regulatory framework so the rules don’t change in the middle of the game,” he added.
“The Resource Nationalism Challenge: How has the global pandemic changed sovereign state ideas on resource nationalism and collaboration,” said the speaker. Mr Jinapor stated that the topic of value sharing and mining affecting people’s livelihoods must be examined objectively because poverty, COVID-19, and other occurrences have made these impacts nearly hard for indigenes of mining nations to perceive.
“Countries must be cautious of the kind of arrangements we enter into with investors and mining firms regarding discussions, capabilities, and integrity of these companies,” he said forcefully.
“Having done that negotiation and gone into contracts, and the train having taken off,” he continued, “how the proceeds of those transactions are used is another crucial topic that I feel States, in particular, should be questioning.”
Africa, according to the Lands Minister, must rise and be truthful to herself, as governments and countries have traditionally failed on both sides. “We haven’t negotiated well, and we haven’t established the capacity that is critical in obtaining properly negotiated accords.”
Mr Jinapor submitted to the panel the strategy Ghana has employed on the issue of Resources Nationalism in mining saying” we in Ghana have adopted the multilateral approach to dealing with issues on Mining so we do not use the unilateral approach and by this, whatever measure, intervention or policy we put in place, we make sure that we engage the mining communities and players.”
He said that the government is able to push through its interventions because of the knowledge and competence of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, which represents practically all of Ghana’s major mining businesses.
He revealed that the government of President Akufo-Addo has laid out a strategic program that his Ministry is implementing, which he believes would result in a major paradigm shift in the regulation and operation of Ghana’s mining industry.
“We have a short to medium to long term programme which will ensure that we add value to these minerals, ensuring that the whole value chain from exploration to the downstream industry is retained in Ghana.
Other unique institutional arrangements, such as the Minerals Development Fund (MDF), have also been established to ensure that 20% of mining royalties are invested in the development of mining communities in Ghana, according to him.
“In the end, be it corruption, be it negotiations, be it the sanctity of contracts and the respect for investments, all boils down to the policy and legislative framework,” the Sector Minister stated emphatically.
“At the heart of this matter of resource nationalism, preventing it and also ensuring that the State gets its share of the resource is to make sure that you have the framework which makes matters certain” He concluded.
2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba, which ends on Thursday, is the largest mining dialogue platform in Africa and the largest mining investment conference and exhibition in the world.
www.zamireports.com / South Africa.