Press highlights new deal on development of bauxite mines, others

The agreement signed by Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) with Rocksure International for the development of bauxite mines at…

The agreement signed by Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) with Rocksure International for the development of bauxite mines at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso in the Ashanti Region is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) has signed an agreement with Rocksure International, a construction and mining support company, for the development of bauxite mines at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso in the Ashanti Region.

The agreement also includes refining the bauxite into aluminium.

The four projects are the expansion of the Awaso mines and establishment of a refinery, the development of mines at Nyinahin and Mpasaaso and a refinery, the development of mines at Kyebi, along with another mine at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso with a finery, and the modernisation and expansion of the VALCO smelter to improve efficiency for increased production.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo witnessed the signing of the agreement after the launch of GIADEC in Accra last Tuesday evening.

The event was attended by the ministers of Trade and Industry and Information, Messrs Alan Kyerematen and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, respectively.

Others were the board members of GIADEC, representatives of mining communities and the staff and management of affiliated institutions.

Before the launch, the President had been conducted round the offices of GIADEC, located in the Export Trade House, the same building hosting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

The agreement with Rocksure International is for the development of one of the two new mines to be built in the Nyinahin-Mpasaaso area to feed a refinery to be established in the country.

The newspaper says that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit in Accra today to discuss the coup d’état and the political crisis in Guinea.

Heads of State and other top officials of the 15-member sub-regional bloc will deliberate on a report by a fact-finding mission sent to assess the situation in Guinea on September 10, this year.

It is expected that after the summit, ECOWAS will give the military junta in Guinea timelines to prepare the country back to democracy, in accordance with the ECOWAS treaty and protocol on democracy and good governance.

This is the second time ECOWAS will be meeting with Guinea on the agenda.

The first meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, September 8, this year, during which the Authority of the Heads of State and Government, the highest decision-making body of ECOWAS, suspended Guinea over the coup that toppled President Alpha Conde on September 5, this year.

Heads of State of six countries — Togo, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Senegal — are expected to join President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the ECOWAS Chairman, at the summit.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who confirmed the participants at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said Nigeria would be represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, while The Gambia and Sierra Leone would be represented by their Foreign Affairs ministers.

Guinea and Mali, the two West African states currently being ruled by military juntas, will not be participating in the summit, as they have been suspended from the sub-regional body.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has rallied Indian investors and others worldwide to pursue investment opportunities in Ghana’s agricultural sector for optimum returns.

“Ghana presents one of the best opportunities in Africa for fruitful and sustainable partnership in agriculture investment.  We have an investment climate for agriculture that is hard to beat anywhere in Africa,” he said.

Dr Akoto was speaking at the inaugural session of the India-Africa Agriculture and Food Processing Summit 2021, held virtually yesterday, on the sub-theme, “Promoting sustainable partnerships.”

The event was to form synergies between countries as part of efforts to bolster productivity in the agriculture sector to strengthen food security systems.

Tracing the bilateral relation between Ghana and India, Dr Akoto said, the foundation was laid by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah had since blossomed, resulting in a huge trade and development cooperation programmes in various sectors.

He disclosed that total trade between Ghana and India had shot up about 26 per cent over the last decade from $ 1.2 billion in 2011/2012 to more than $ 4.5 billion in 2018/2019.

He said Ghana’s main exports to India were gold, cocoa, nuts and timber products, with gold accounting for nearly 80 percent of India’s total imports from Ghana.

On the other hand, he said, India’s major exports to Ghana included pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, transport vehicles, electrical equipment, plastics, iron and steel, ethyl alcohol, beverages and spirits, cereals and textiles.

The newspaper says that a two-day workshop on the Narcotics Control Commission Act 2020 (ACT 1019) is underway in Accra with Justice Bright Mensah, a Court of Appeal judge suggesting the commercialisation of cannabis “wee” for economic gain.

He said the cannabis could be exported to countries that needed it most to fetch foreign exchange for Ghana.

That, he said, could be done with strict control on cultivation and usage.

Justice Mensah said these in his closing remarks as the chairman of the workshop organised by the POS Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in partnership with International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN)-Ghana chapter with funding from Open Society Foundation.

The Court of Appeal judge told participants, prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the workshop that although the Narcotics Act seeks to decriminalise the abuse of drugs, section 43 of the Act does not take away the unlawfulness of the abuse of narcotics.

While commending the POS Foundation and its partners for educating law enforcement agencies on the new Act, he urged them to organise another workshop for judges and magistrates since the lower court judges would be working with prosecutors.

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