Ghana ruling party’s presidential candidate pledges to create minerals development bank

By Kent Mensah in Accra May 9, 2024

The flagbearer of Ghana’s governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mahamudu Bawumia, has unveiled plans to launch a minerals development bank should he secure the presidency in the forthcoming December elections.

The mining sector plays a vital role in the economy of Ghana, a major gold producer that has significant lithium deposits yet to be developed. The sector attracts more than half of all foreign direct investment (FDI) and generating more than one-third of all export revenues. 

Mineral rights are granted to private parties giving them the right to mine the minerals in the ground. However, the government is entitled to a 10% equity interest in operations, even it if does not make a financial contribution, while the small-scale mining industry is reserved exclusively for Ghanaians.

The proposed bank, according to Bawumia, who is currently Ghana’s vice president, aims to provide financial support for mining ventures within the nation, Citi News reports. 

Speaking at the 3rd annual transformational dialogue on small-scale mining, he said it would "finance viable local mineral projects and to mitigate foreign financing of local mining projects, which leads to heavy smuggling of the produce afterwards."

This initiative signals a commitment to fostering local mining projects and curbing the practice of foreign companies exporting all their earnings, Bawumia added.

The presidential election is slated for December 7. It is seens as a straight contest between Bawumia and former president John Mahama of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

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