Opening Ceremony & General Assembly meeting, Ouagadougou,

Opening Ceremony & General Assembly meeting, Ouagadougou,

The President of the General Assembly of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EFEDCOM), Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, has urged West African leaders to harmonize their regional minerals policies to boost investment in the sector. Mr. Addo-Kufuor made this call during the 2nd General Assembly meeting of the Federation at the Palace Hotel, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on Wednesday 27th September, 2017.

The meeting, which coincided with the 2nd SAMAO Conference & Exhibition in Ouagadougou, was attended by members of the EFEDCOM’s Executive Council from Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor expressed joy at the exemplary progress made by Burkina Faso in the mining sector over the past few years and applauded the efforts of the Government.

He stated that: “continued collaboration between stakeholders in our respective countries and across borders is critical,” adding “a prerequisite for deepening this collaboration is mutual trust. We must harness the resources of the sub-region to ensure that our people benefit immensely from the sector. Anything short of that will be failure on our part.”

EFEDCOM was established to provide the needed thought leadership to propel sub-regional cooperation and effective minerals policy development with the ECOWAS Commission. The mission is to advocate for effective policies to promote sustainable and responsible mining, and to use the resources and capabilities of the Members to serve the needs of its stakeholders within the Communities. Members generally commit to ensure the sustainable development of their countries on the back of mining for future generations.

Speaking at the meeting, the Special Guest of Honour, Hon. Oumarou Idani, Minister for Mines & Quarries, reiterated the need to build stronger ties among the countries. He stated that Burkina Faso is poised to exploit its minerals to develop the country.

“We are willing to develop strong partnerships to achieve our agenda of economic transformation. The extractive industry has always been recognized as the engine and catalyst for growth and it would remain so for a very long time. The important thing is to translate that investment into development that benefits our people.”

Also in attendance was Ghana’s Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, a Deputy Minister for Lands & Natural Resources who participated in a panel discussion on the challenges and development of Artisanal & Small Scale Mining within the sub-region. Hon Oteng Gyasi stated that the sector has not been regulated properly in the past and this shortfall has stimulated the growth of the illegal mining. She indicated that the government’s temporary ban on activities of small-scale mining in Ghana is to re-assess the challenges and reorganize the subsector through the implementation of the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).

Prior to the meeting, a delegation of the EFEDCOM led by its Executive Director, Mr. Sulemanu Koney earlier paid a courtesy call on the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kabore at his Presidency. The President assured the Federation of his country’s determination to support responsible mining for sustainable development. He encouraged the Federation to work diligently to bring on board all the Chambers in the sub-region to ensure cohesion in the administration of mining within the sub-region.

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