Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says that his country could earn US$450 billion dollars from the successful processing and sale of the country’s 900-million-metric-ton reserve of the ore.
Bawumia made the declaration in the course of delivering the keynote speech at last week’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” conference. He went on to reaffirm his government’s commitment to establishing a Bauxite Development Authority that would be tasked with building a refinery to process the bauxite in question.
Using the example of the cocoa bean trade and its paltry return for Ghana, the veep continued by opining that the time had come for his country to begin adding value to the natural resources it possessed so as to derive the most economic benefit from them.
He went on to say that the government would lead and coordinate efforts at bringing the country’s infrastructure up to date, which is an especially critical task in the face of ever-lessening foreign aid.
According to Bawumia a “Ghana Beyond Aid” meant leveraging natural resources like bauxite and increasing the resulting economic windfalls’ positive impact upon public pursuits, private enterprise, local markets, and the nation’s currency.
“It means investing in people and building the capacity of the next generation including access to quality education, training and jobs and building their overall capacity for innovation and knowledge, encouraging entrepreneurship, businesses, investing in infrastructure as basis for future productivity and public-private partnerships as well as building connectivity for data to share information.”
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.