A six-member delegation from Zambia yesterday paid a visit to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to familiarise themselves with operations of the ministry.
Led by Zambia’s Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Paul C. Kabuswe, the delegation focused particularly on issues relating to the mining sector in Ghana.
Speaking during a brief meeting, chaired by a Deputy Minister of Mines, George Mireku Duker, on behalf of the sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, Mr Kabuswe said his visit to Ghana was to basically study Ghana's small-scale mining sector, exchange ideas and learn best practices in the mining space.
He noted that for Africa to thrive and prosper through its own efforts and resources, there must be stronger and closer collaboration among African countries.
"We need to collaborate and share ideas to help harness our resources as Africans and liberate ourselves economically. This is because we are not yet economically powerful as a continent and so it is time to sit together and exchange views and not stay aloof," he said.
Discovery of gold
Mr Kabuswe said Zambia had recently discovered gold and wanted to embark on very robust minerals exploration to ensure the gold did not end up in wrong hands.
He added that the Zambian government was mapping up the entire country to, among others, help understand the extent of mineral deposits in the country.
The minister noted that his country had taken the decision to clean up the licensing system.
"Mining starts at the licensing stage and if you don't get it right from the beginning, you miss the point. Therefore, you must get it right from the beginning," he explained.
He said to ensure an all-inclusive system, the government had set itself on a path to reorganise the mining sector in Zambia with a new mining policy framework.
He noted that Africa had the human resource to achieve whatever goals it set for itself.
Responding, Mr Duker updated the delegation on Ghana's efforts to improve the mining sector through a strong regulatory framework and decentralisation.
He expressed delight that Zambia had shown interest in Ghana's mining sector, adding that about 500 companies had also shown similar interest, especially the opportunities that existed in the country.
On value addition, Mr Duker said the government, through the ministry, had set up agencies, such as the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation and the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation, to promote and develop an integrated bauxite, aluminium, iron and steel industry.
He said as part of Ghana's contribution to the Minamata Convention, the government had procured mercury-free mining equipment which efficiently recovered more gold for artisanal and small-scale miners and also encouraged responsible mining.
The delegation also paid a similar visit to the Minerals Commission and the Precious Minerals and Marketing Company, which among others, promotes the development of precious minerals and jewelery in the country.