The President of the Ghana Association of Jewellers, Jonathan Ababio, has called on stakeholders to reserve five percent of gold for the local market in order to reduce the cost of producing gold products.
Addressing participants at the launch of the Gold Statement 2023 in Accra, Mr. Ababio explained how the difficulty in accessing gold by local manufacturers affects their cost of production and contributes to high prices of gold products in the country as compared to other markets.
“Due to the difficulty in securing materials, our cost has increased phenomenally when we compare ourselves to our competitors in the Western world,” he said.
He blamed the situation on the incessant export of all gold mined in the country.
“Once there is a continuous supply of all gold mined to jewellers down here, I believe we would be at par with the Western market, based on prices to meet the needs of our customers,” he said.
Turning his attention to data on gold export, he mentioned that in 2021, US$5.29billion worth of gold was exported, making the country the 19th largest exporter of gold in the world; and in the second quarter of 2022, the country’s value of gold export reached about US$1.64billion.
For his part, the Director-General of Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alex Dodoo, who was the chairperson for the programme, commended Rapport Services and the GAJ for their contributions to the jewellery industry.
In her welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of Rapport Services, Judy Kakuor Crayem, announced that the lapidary workshop structure for the training of young women and men in the art of gemstone-cutting and polishing would be completed by the end of this month.
Mrs. Crayem added that her outfits and the GAJ are working closely with the Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly to set up the Gold and Jewellery Park or Emporium to house all gold smiths who make genuine jewellery as a one-stop shop.
Similarly, the Coordinator for the Gold and Jewellery Park Project, Maximus Afriyie Barwuah, said the park will be an incubating environment for building local capacity in jewellery manufacturing, wholesale and retail.
Mr. Barwuah stated that the park is designed to attract tenants of other sectors of the economy looking for an office location within the capital city, and it will also serve as a “tourist attraction for visitors in search of high quality, responsible sales, certified gold and sales of gems set jewellery from a variety of local and international artisans”.
The press launch is a prelude to the main event slated take place from Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25, 2023. It will be on the theme ‘Growing partnerships in the gold jewellery and gemstone industry across Africa and beyond – the way forward’.
Activities outlined for this year’s event include conference, jewellery exhibition and sales as well as a gala night and an award ceremony.