Kwame Addo-Kufuor, President, ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines, has called on African governments and mining companies to ensure the establishment of alternative business at mining communities to prevent a situation where such communities become ghost towns upon completion of mining.
Addo-Kufour was speaking at the recently concluded Nigeria Mining Week held in Abuja. The 3rd Nigeria Mining Week was organised by the Miners Association of Nigeria in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Spintelligent.
According to him, revenue from royalties and grant rent are usually not sufficient for community recovery on farm out, hence the need for the development of alternative business for community recovery and sustenance.
“While mining is going on, there is need to establish an alternative business that will keep the community economically engaged upon farm out”, he said.
He suggested the development of foundations by both government and mining companies from which industries can be set up to ensure the communities keep functioning after mining activity.
“It could be the establishment of rice mills groundnut mills, or other business that can keep thriving and sustaining the communities,” he said.
While noting that the ECOWAS federation of miners has grown to six countries with indication of further growth, Addo-Kufuor stressed that mining in Africa cannot be left behind in achieving globally acceptable best practices.
“Adoption of best safety and environmental practice is vital, mining is a high cost and depletable venture, therefore, Africa must begin to adopt globally acceptable practices,” he said.
Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor, who is the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, was elected as the first President of the General Assembly of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines. Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso are among members of the group.