The Ghanian Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta told domestic media last week of the government’s intention to fast-track economic development by developing an integrated aluminium industry.
Ofori-Atta outlined a six-point plan for developing such an industry: establishing bauxite mines in Awaso, Nyinahin, and Kyebi; building an alumina refinery, most likely in Kyebi; establishing inexpensive and reliable power; development of a railway infrastructure between the mines and processing facilities; conversion of the Valco refinery in Tema to a smelter; and the establishment of an industrial park for producing value-added aluminium products.
“This is in line with government’s vision for industrialisation and transformation of the Ghanaian economy, with a deliberate focus on value-addition to the country’s vast mineral wealth to significantly expand the capacity of the economy to create jobs and wealth for the people,” he explained.
“Ghana has since 1962, been contemplating the establishment of an integrated aluminium industry, using its natural resources in bauxite, hydro, gas and its existing smelter.
“The closest that the country got to realising this was in 2008 under President John Agyekum Kufuor. Thankfully, President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has made the rapid and sustainable establishment of an integrated aluminium industry a top economic priority,” he added.
Ofori-Atta went on to explain that the upcoming government budget contained provisions that would facilitate this process. In addition, a feasibility study has been conducted for the area, and that a bill would soon be introduced to Parliament directing the government to oversee the project.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources exists to ensure the sustainable management and utilisation of the nation’s natural resources for socio-economic growth and development of the country,” he elaborated.
Ofori-Atta indicated that this was one facet of a plan to develop the country’s mining sector. The government intends to promote diversification and facilitate connections between the mining industry and manufacturing, he said.
“In 2017, the ministry will facilitate the approval and implementation of the policy. This is expected to increase local content participation, among others. Additionally, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority Act, 2016 (Act 928) was passed by Parliament to enhance new mineral discoveries throughout the country and diversify the country’s mineral resource base from the traditional minerals,” he explained.