The Chairman of Ghana’s Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), Farouk Aliu Mahama has thrown a challenge to African countries to rally around the abundant natural resources of the countries to develop their economies.
According to him, African countries can avert several challenges if they take advantage of the several natural resources to develop their countries, and reduce the overreliance on foreign aid.
“When we harness our natural resources, I don’t think we will have issues in our country, and it will be an economic booster for each economy that uses its natural resources to the benefits of its citizens,” he said.
Speaking to the business community and scholars with key interest in Africa during a session of the Academy of African Businesses and Development at the University of East London, he argued that Ghana’s green iron and steel industry is ready for takeoff, so investors must have a special interest in Ghana’s efforts.
“As the Chairman of the Ghana Integrated Iron And Steel Development Corporation, I can attest to the fact that Ghana’s is a top and nascent iron and steel industry ready for takeoff. President Akufo-Addo’s vision is to build a fully integrated iron and steel industry in the country which inculcates the complete value chain, from mining to smelting of our iron reserves. Ghana is ready to work in synergy to achieve this sacred vision in record time,” he explained.
Farouk Mahama who is also MP for Yendi, said the iron and steel industry plays a key role in reducing cost of imports into Africa, so it is the reason they have invested much energies into ensuring that it takes off as envisaged.
“Iron and steel is something that is very important because it reduces the cost of importation of iron rods to Ghana and Africa. When we started, we found out that there was a lot of value that government could earn from the iron and steel industry running into billions of dollars, looking at the tons of iron deposits we have.
“As we speak we have almost 10 investors who are investing 10 million dollars each to undertake mineral resource estimation on their respective concessions,” Farouk Aliu Mahama said.
He urged African leaders to emulate the leadership of Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the setting up of Ghana’s iron industry and ensure that the countries take full advantage of their natural resources to develop their countries.
“If African leaders should identify the natural resources we have in our countries, we should be able to unlock the values of those resources. African leaders must emulate our President, Nana Akufo-Addo in taking advantage of our natural resources to develop our countries.
“Ghana is on course to start mining its iron ore, which will boost its steel industry. So I encourage other colleagues to emulate Ghana to make sure that their presidents make use of the iron and steel industries that we have,” he stated.
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