The Head of Mining and Metals at Stanbic Bank, Juliet Sheiddy Akamboe, has urged policy makers and regulators in the extractive industry to create access for local content to help the mining sector thrive.
Speaking on Raising Capital and Financing of Mining Projects at the 12th West African Mining and Power Conference in Accra, Ms Akamboe said unlike the other sectors of the extractive industry, a good chunk of the mining sector is owned and controlled by foreign businesses who are sustained by favourable regulations and systems of operation in the sector, rendering the mining sector almost unattractive and unable to support local content development.
“The growth of the mining sector has stalled because the sector has not provided fertile grounds for local miners to bud, and are therefore unable to undertake big ticket projects, and this is not good for Ghana’s economy and local revenue generation”, Ms Akamboe said.
“Looking generally at the extractive sector, oil and gas seem to have found their way around much quicker because there is actually a policy on a participation stake of about ten per cent which has to be always local. Unfortunately for mining, apart from the Government’s stake, there is really not a need, particularly for registering mining companies for a local to be involved – a situation we have had to deal with for years as a country which has required that the mining sector always plays a catch up”, she added.
Ms Akamboe, however, noted that some of the big mining companies operating in the country are beginning to engage local contractors. “Stanbic Bank has just finalized a deal with a purely Ghanaian enterprise – a great success story waiting to be outdoored in the coming weeks. Prospects are still very high for the mining sector. If miners work closely with the Government and other key stakeholders, we will be able to see the Ghana and Africa we all dream about”, she revealed.
Ms Akamboe also said, Stanbic Bank’s participation in the conference is to bring to bear the Bank’s expertise and see how best to work together with the mining sector to promote sustainable and responsible mining for Ghana’s growth and the growth of the African continent.
“We at Stanbic Bank call Africa our home and we drive her growth – it translates into the growth of Ghana and we would have to drive Ghana’s growth. For us as a bank, leading that growth of the mining sector will facilitate the growth of other sectors like manufacturing, education, ICT, and many other areas of national development. At Standard Bank, we believe in sustainability for the economic liberation of the continent, as we demonstrate our expertise. Our purpose is to drive our natural resources. Our job is to get down to the aid of the contractors and suppliers to help them grow,” said Ms. Akamboe.
The West African Mining and Power Conference provides an international platform for senior government and industry heads and influencers to discuss regulations, policies, legislation, challenges and market developments within the mining and power sectors. The conference is attended by industry stakeholders and influential decision-makers with an interest in the Mining and Power Sectors in West Africa.