Government is set to begin a rapid exploitation of the country’s considerable bauxite resources and the development of an integrated aluminum industry.
The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation was officially outdoored at a ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra last Friday evening as a strategic vehicle in that regard.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inaugurated the board of the corporation and urged the members to help develop the industry with their diverse experiences and expertise.
Chaired by Dr Oteng Gyasi, the board has Mr Addae Antwi-Bosiako from the Minerals Commission, and Mr Humphrey Ayim Darke from the Association of Ghana Industries as members.
Also on the board are Mr Michael Ansah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, Dr Henry Benyah, and Dr Benjamin Ofosu Addo from the Integrated Aluminum Industry.
Others are Patrick Bogyako-Siaime, Nana Dokua, Benito Owusu Bio from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Abena Osei Asare from the Ministry of Finance, and Nana Amampene Boateng Twu II.
Ghana’s journey towards the development of an aluminum industry, President Akufo-Addo said, began in 1948 through the establishment of the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO).
Although efforts were made towards exploiting Ghana’s bauxite resources, especially by the First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the dream, he said, could not fully materialize.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the establishment of the corporation would put Ghana in a position to explore and develop fully, the entire value chain of its bauxite resources.
He said his administration, with the support of Parliament, had developed the corporation as a statutory body to spearhead the establishment of an integrated aluminum industry.
So far, he said the leadership of the corporation had been working with transaction advisors and other stakeholders to ensure that the objective of establishing an aluminum industry was executed in a timely manner.
“The time has come to make a concerted effort not only to bring merely the raw materials into play but to establish the full value chain of the product so we can have a vibrant aluminum industry in Ghana,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana’s obligation under the US$2 billion Syno Hydro deal required that the country supplied aluminum products as payment in return for US$2 billion worth of projects.
He expressed optimism that the corporation, with a board with diverse experience and well-grounded personalities, would help Ghana meet its obligations under the deal.
He said the corporation had been placed under the Office of the President to enable him receive regular reports and updates directly on its progress.
The board chair, Dr Oteng Gyasi, on his part, thanked the President for giving the members the opportunity to serve the government and the nation.
“We know your dream, we know your vision, and your intention for the industrialisation of the country. We also know very well, the place of aluminum in your programme”.
“It is our belief that you have chosen us very carefully because you know that we can deliver. It is not for us to make promises, it is for our work to speak for itself,” he said and promised that the board would deliver to the expectation of the government and the country.
BY YAW KYEI