Participants at an event to launch Ghana’s National Suppliers Development Programme (NSDP) called for its immediate implementation to help benefit local businesses.
The two-day event held on 1st and 2nd November at Labadi Beach Hotel was jointly organized by the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). It brought together government officials, mining industry players, civil society organizations and educational institutions.
The NSDP is guided by the African Mining Vision (AMV), a landmark continental agenda for inclusive mineral-based transformation, which was adopted by African Heads of State in 2009. The NSDP, championed by the AMDC, is intended to improve linkages between the mining industry and local businesses. Ghana adopted a Country Mining Vision in 2014.
Develop value chains
In his opening address, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. John Peter Amewu, urged mining companies in the country to support the development of indigenous value chains in the sector. He called on local suppliers to the industry to make quality and timely delivery their hallmark.
Setting the context, AMDC Coordinator, Dr. Kojo Busia, said the African Mining Vision had three phases. In-depth analysis of value creation in the downstream and upstream linkages in the mining sector made up phases one and two respectively. Phase one had ended in June 2017 with the submission of a report to the Government of Ghana. Phase three focuses on the hydrocarbon sector with particular emphasis on NSDP implementation.
Dr. Busia bemoaned the fact that African countries are not currently taking greater advantage of opportunities to develop the mining sector for greater benefit, beyond tax revenue and royalties.
The AMDC’s Senior Advisor on Investments and Linkages, Isabelle Ramdoo highlighted the potential that exits for local procurement in the mining industry. For his part, Economic Affairs Officer, John Sloan, also of the AMDC, advocated the establishment of mining clusters to promote supply chain development.
The BGR’s procurement model in the minerals sector was presented by its Head of Extractives Programme, Johannes Danz, who stressed the importance of affordable and reliable power supply for upstream and downstream development in the mining industry.
ACET’s Senior Research Analyst and Policy Advisor, Dr. Julius Gatune Kariuke, presented findings of a study on local content and value addition in the extractives sector in eight African countries. “There are bold visions but not many African countries have gone far with adding value”, Dr. Gatune said. Noting that value chains can create scale to attract investment, he called for coherent value addition policies within a regional framework.
Launching the programme on behalf of the Vice President of Ghana, the Minister of Planning, Professor Gyan-Baffour said that the government’s own vision for industrialization was well-aligned with the NSDP’s. He noted that the mining industry was an important sector that must be used as a launching pad for the country’s industrialization.
For his part, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay warned against making the NSDP a “talk shop”. He said all stakeholders should get involved in implementing the programme.
“This National Suppliers Development Programme is critical to developing local capacity in mining supply chains”, ACET’s Chief Economist, Dr. Yaw Ansu said, noting that ACET would continue to work with partners to support the implementation of the programme.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr. Kwame Addo-Kuffuor, also pledged support. He reported that the mining industry contributed US$ 165 million to government revenue in 2016 and spent $1.2 billion on local purchases.
AMDC’s Dr. Kojo Busia said there is a big procurement market in the West African sub-region that businesses are not taking advantage of. This, in addition to illicit financial flows, amounting to US$ 80 billion was causing a situation where Africa’s minerals were helping to develop countries outside Africa.
Panel discussions touched on various aspects of the mining supply chains in the context of NSDP such as business and industry challenges, skills challenges, policy challenges and recommendations for moving the NSDP forward and institutional framework to promote the NSDP.
As participants and panelists applauded the partners for the NSDP launch, Dr. Busia promised that the partners would work with the government to implement the programme.
“The agenda is clear, the determination is obvious, now we need to move forward”, Dr. Busia said, bringing the two-day event to a close.