The campaign coordinator for the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), Dr. Emmanuel Steve Asare Manteaw, has said that district assemblies in resource-rich areas across the country could benefit from the extraction of resources if they conduct an input and output analysis of the activities of the extraction companies.
Dr. Manteaw, who was speaking at a Western Regional Stakeholders forum on Petroleum Sector Governance organized by Friends of the Nation on Tuesday, noted that, the practice where resource-rich district assemblies prepare their District Medium Term Development Plan without factoring the operations of the companies hinders the integration of the company’s operations into the local economy, and the benefits the district could get.
He referenced the Prestea Huni Valley district in the Western Region, where he said that “you have a situation in the Prestea Huni Valley District for example, where Golden Star Resources spends $18 million annually to import frozen chicken from Portugal. Can the district assembly factor this importation into its planning processes such that, the assembly develops a plan for people within the district to go into poultry farming to produce what will meet the standards of the company’s demands?”
Dr. Manteaw added that, “mining companies also import activated carbon or palm kennel for heating purposes. Palm kennel is in abundance in the Prestea Huni Valley district and other parts of the country; yet mining companies spend millions of dollars importing this commodity for their business. For you to know all these, the district development authority needs to do engage the companies in their areas to know their demands, so they can factor them in their plans”.
The model, Dr. Manteaw said, will ensure that the company’s operations are integrated into the local economy to deal with some of the developmental deficits seen in resource-rich districts.
“It will also create jobs for our people that will in effect create new tax opportunities for the government. We will also have the opportunity to add value to our exports such that, if the Obuasi Municipal, the Tarkwa Municipal and other gold mining districts made a conscious attempt at positioning people in the district to buy some gold from producers to produce jewelry, necklaces and bracelets and other ornaments, Obuasi Municipality wouldn’t have suffered the way it is after AngloGold’s operations in Obuasi went down.”