Story by: Ishmael Barfi
In efforts to ensure effective management of the supply chain system in the mining sector, the Head of Supply Chain Management at Goldfields West Africa, Mr. Theophilus Otchere has called for an urgent need for a dialogue on the setting up of a National Suppliers Development Programme.
According to him, this will harness the numerous industrial opportunities available in the mining sector.
In addition, the National Supplier Development Programme will complement the existing local content investment opportunities in the country.
“Supply chains are integrated into a global market and losing them harms multiple industries in numerous ways”, he reiterated.
Mr. Theophilus Otchere made this call during his presentation at the Sub-regional Quarterly Meeting of Women in Mining in West Africa (WIMWA) organized by the Ghana chapter, Women in Mining (WIM) Ghana and supported by the Ford Foundation.
Delivering his presentation, he explained that, COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war have taught us that, it is expedient to have critical inputs closer to us.
The head of Supply Chain Management at Goldfields West Africa indicated that local content and value addition strategy is one of the methods resource-rich countries are adopting to increase the benefits from resource extraction to their economies beyond securing optimal rents ( royalties, taxes, shares, and other revenues).
This he explained is to promote linkage with other sectors of the economy through local employment opportunities, in-country spending and procurement of local goods and services, technology and skills transfer, and local participation through equity and management.
However, for developing countries like Ghana, local content policy he said is a strategic policy to attract foreign direct investment as well as growing capacity and capability.
Before the State regulation of local content initiatives, Mr. Theophilus Otchere revealed that most mining companies aligned their business strategies to the interests of the host community and State-Social license.
In furtherance, also rolled out initiatives to build the capacity of indigenous populations through apprenticeship programs, the building of educational facilities, and scholarships among others
Some local companies he pointed out were supported by the mining industry to produce services and inputs that could be produced in the country citing Gold Fields pre-financing WTS to produce buses, and Ashanti Gold Fields pre-financed the construction of the Labadi Beach Hotel.
In Ghana, the local content Regulations which were passed in 2012 and later replaced with Legal Instrument (L.I) 2431 in 2020 aimed to foster greater participation of domestic industries in the mining supply chain.
In addition, the L. I 2431 seeks to ensure the promotion of job creation, increased capacity, and competitiveness, the creation of mining and mineral-related support industries, the development of local capacities in the mining industry, and the enhancement of gender equality.
And it is to this effect, that the Head of Supply Chain Management at Goldfields West Africa believes in the urgent establishment of the National Supplier Development Programme.
Because the mining sector he noted has a great potential for industrial development and socio-economic transformation of countries and communities in which they operate.
“This could further unlock industrial growth through more value addition by creating business opportunities for the domestic private sector from local procurement.
In addition, will generate indirect jobs along the value chain, and provide wider opportunities for the economy, notably using infrastructure and mining related capabilities for other economic sectors.
And finally to harness the benefits from mineral resources the government and mineral rights holders have collaboratively developed the Legislative Instrument.