In March 2020, exactly a year ago, the first-ever Gold Expo in Africa was held in Takoradi, the Western Region of Ghana.
The Ghana Gold Expo, an initiative by the Western Regional Coordinating Council and Viewtag-Ghana Gold Expo a partner of Aurum Monaco in the Principality of Monaco, a policy advocacy body, focused mainly on Promoting Zero Mercury (Responsible Gold Production) in local mining, and providing a platform to advance against the application of the deadly chemical in mining in accordance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury and Gold trade traceability.
It was held with the support of the President of Ghana, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo through the Western Regional Coordinating Council, the Office of Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister and with the partnership of international agencies like Forbes Monaco, UN Environments Program (The Chemical Branch), Swiss Better Gold Association, 4bird Company and Gold Coast Refinery, Gold Fields Ghana, Ghana Standards Authority, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission, Geological Department, PMMC, Chamber of Mines, Artisanal Small-scale Miners, Perseus Mining, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Central Bank of Ghana.
The forum saw the participation of 1,080 attendees from over 25 countries, with 20 Exhibitors, 300 Mining Executives, 250 Small Scale Miners, 10 gold refineries, 150 Investors and over 100 Government Representatives.
The success of the Expo has seen the gradual repositioning of the Ghanaian Mining Sector as a Responsible Sector to the global economy.
Relying on the success of the maiden Gold Expo in Africa, the Western Regional Coordinating Council and its partners are hosting the Ghana Mining Week 2021. With the increasing demands for mineral deposits and the diminishing nature of such minerals across the globe, the issues of mining are in the wake.
This seeming opportunity for developing countries like Ghana which have mineral deposits comes with its accompanying repercussions.
As such, there have been various efforts by stakeholders in curbing some of the challenges in the Industry and positioning the sector as less controversial to investors. It is in this regard that the Western Regional Coordinating Council and Viewtag-Ghana Gold Expo will be holding the first-ever Mining Week in July 2021.
The program will focus mainly on a Diplomatic Mining Fieldtrip to some Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining Sites, Large Scale Mining Sites and to some Water Bodies. According to the Executive Director of Ghana Gold Expo, Steven Blessing Ackah, the rationale of the Diplomatic Fieldtrip is to create a positive brand awareness of the sector to the International community.
He said, “we seek to take the diplomatic community on a tour to the Western Region, the mineral resource Region of the country. For instance, countries like China, USA, India, UK, Australia, Columbia, South Africa, UAE and others are major players in the global mining industry, and providing a platform for envoys from these countries to understand the mining sector will help in improving the sector’s Investment attractiveness.”
He further stated that the objectives of the tour are;
- Enlightening the diplomatic community on the various activities of the sector
- Creating awareness of the sector’s investment opportunities and challenges.
- An opportunity for the Foreign Envoys to tour the Western Region.
- An opportunity for a collaborative effort in ensuring Responsible Mining.
The other aspect of the event will be a global stakeholders policy forum and a Trip to the Principality of Monaco as Ghana will be honored as the Country of Honor by the Better World Endowment Fund for the efforts by the Western Regional Coordinating Council in promoting responsible mining in the region. The Better World Endowment is a global body that creates a continuously growing community of leading thinkers and doers who share the mission for positive environmental, economic and social change as well as a passion for collaborative impact.
Accordingly, just some weeks ago, the Better World Endowment global community announced to honour at the Cannes Film Festival those in the Gold industry that promote “Responsible Mining”. They will announce, spotlight and award at the 2021 Festival a country and a film that supports the fight for the betterment of and equity in the Gold Mining industry. This year, the country of honour is the Republic of Ghana. In honouring Ghana, they have also selected six key industry players, each with their own different perspective, to discuss their challenges and equally importantly, to share with the community their perspectives in the sector.
The Diplomatic Mining Fieldtrip, the honouring of Ghana at the Cannes Film Festival, and the opening Stakeholder Forum will all form part of the Ghana Mining Week 2021, slated for July 2021.