Ghana’s Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said on Tuesday that his government is continuing down the path of opening a bauxite operation, as the establishment of in-country processing of the ore is critical to realizing the highest financial benefits from the mineral.
Bawumia went on to say that such a move will also yield new jobs for the region. According to the VP, the framework for a bauxite operation is being put into place at present with a goal of having a refinery constructed and running within the next few years.
“Our goal is to have an [alumina] refinery in Ghana in the next two or three years, possibly by 2019. We are going to look at the power and other issues, but there is no reason we shouldn’t refine our gold or bauxite.
“There is a clear direction that the President has set, we will go with the Bill to parliament early next year, and move on with the establishment of the refinery.”
Bawumia continued by saying that such a venture will show Accra’s commitment to partnerships with the private sector in efforts to meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG). Achieving such goals will help both the government and private industry, he said.
“Government will fulfill its obligation to the citizenry to provide a safe, healthy and economically sound environment for growth.
“When we fail to fulfill the SDGs there will be a lot of hunger and poverty, therefore, it is imperative and in the interest of the private sector to achieve the SDGs so that there will be prosperity among the people.
“If we achieve the SDGs it would mean that the necessary investment have been made, and those investments present a huge opportunity for private sector participation in national development.”
Developing Ghana’s substantial bauxite deposits and establishing a domestic bauxite industry was a cornerstone of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s campaign last year. He was elected the fifth president of Ghana in December, defeating incumbent John Mahama. His campaign largely focused upon alleviating the country’s youth unemployment rate, which ranks among the highest in the world.