In June 2000, the ECOWAS Commission which has a vision to promote the integration of West Africa facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Chambers of Mines of Ghana and Guinea to collaborate and ultimately lead to the formation of Chambers of Mines of West Africa.
In the spirit of that MOU, the Ghana Chamber of Mines supported the inauguration of the Chambre des Mines du Burkina Faso and shared its experience with the latter.
With the West Africa witnessing a mining boom coupled with the growing importance of mining to countries in the sub-region, the ECOWAS Commission took a critical decision to realise the formation of the sub-regional Chamber.
ECOWAS financially supported and provided logistics for two meetings in 2014 and 2015 towards the inauguration of the Federation. Thus after several years of stakeholder engagements, the ECOWAS Federation of Chamber of Mines (EFEDCOM) was inaugurated in November, 2016 in Accra Ghana. At that meeting, the founding fathers adopted a constitution to govern the operations of the Federation. The Founding Mining Chambers and Association present at that meeting were:
- Abuja Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Nigeria,
- Chambre des Mines du Burkina Faso,
- Chambre des Mines de Guinée,
- Miners Association of Nigeria; and
- Ghana Chamber of Mines.
Among other provisions, the constitution spells out the organizational structure of the Federation and the powers conferred on its directors and officers.
The rationale for creating the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines is to foster closer collaboration and alliance in the mining sector within the sub-region. The initiative had become imperative, considering the importance of mining to the economies of ECOWAS members and similarities in the challenges facing the industry in the sub-region. The primary objective of the Federation is to advocate for the enactment of policies to promote mining across the sub-region.
Whilst, Groupement Professionnel de Miniers de Cote d’Ivoire is expected to be admitted into membership, the Chambre de Mines du Senegal will be the next Chamber to join the Federation.
The following are the current officers of the Federation:
President, General Assembly – Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor (Ghana)
Chairman, Executive Council – Mr. Chaikou Yaya Diallo (Guinea)
Vice Chairman, Executive Council – Alhaji Mohammed Sani Shehu (Nigeria MAN)
Treasurer, Executive Council – Mr. Toussaint Bamouni (Burkina Faso)
Executive Director – Mr. Sulemanu Koney (Ghana)