The Pishigu Naa and former Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Naa Alhassan Andani, has implored Ghanaians to change the politics around the mining and energy sector if the country wants to harness the potential of the sector for sustainable national development. Naa Alhassan Andani made these remarks in his keynote address at this year’s Ghana Mining and Energy Summit, held at the Accra International Conference Center.
According to the Pishigu Naa, discussions around mining must be focused on how to optimise the benefits of the sector rather than harnessing the benefits, after several decades of mining. He said “We have been mining in Ghana for over a hundred years and if at this point, we are not using the word optimizing and still using harnessing, from where I stand, it is a big worry for me. Over the 100 years that we have been mining in this country, there is enough evidence to show that we have short-changed ourselves as a country.
There is a politics side to mining and energy and there is a science and economic side to mining and energy. Apart from South Africa, no other African country has truly benefitted from mining and energy. They have been able to achieve this because they have over the years developed the right science, economics and politics that support the mining and energy sector.”
He added that “Here in Ghana, we have been too busy as country only politicizing and putting together policies for the mining sector without proper monitoring. If we are to harness mining and energy for sustainable national development, we have to get serious by first of all stabilizing the politics around the usage of our mineral resources. The fact that we haven’t yet been able to harness the benefits of the mining and energy sector is an indictment on us all”.
Naa Alhassan Andani further charged mining companies to develop sustainable mining practices to ensure continuity and sustain the planet. He said “Embracing sustainability in mining and energy is a must for the future of our planet. As industries with significant environmental impact, it is vital that we adopt responsible practices.
Engaging local communities is no longer an option; it is a fundamental step towards creating a lasting impact. We must embrace diversity and value-driven approaches to ensure sustainability for all. Sustainability in mining and energy is not an option; it is our shared responsibility.”
The Ghana Mining and Energy Summit is a biennial conference and exhibition organized by the Ghana Chamber of Mines. Over the past 5 years, the summit has evolved to become a platform for key actors in the country’s extractive industry to discuss the pertinent issues affecting the sector and explore innovative ways of harnessing its potential for national development. This year’s summit was held on the theme: “Harnessing mining and energy potential for sustainable national development.”