Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has emphasised the need for African leaders and businesses to leverage the natural resources deposited in the land to create wealth.
Speaking at the African Sovereignty Wealth Funds Summit on Friday, 1 June 2018, Dr Bawumia said Africa has hundreds of billions of dollars locked up in the land, which “we have not been able to release because we don’t have a working mortgage market and that is a major asset for Africa that needs to be unleashed.”
Dr Bawumia noted that God has endowed Africa with a lot of natural resources which can be leveraged in a new way to finance development on the continent.
He stated that the old way of giving out mining concessions and taking royalties, is, in his opinion, not the best way to generate wealth from the minerals deposited in the land.
“I think that you can look at the natural resources you have and leverage those resources to generate financing for particular infrastructure investment,” he said.
Dr Bawumia disclosed that Ghana is hoping to take advantage of its bauxite deposits to create wealth for its citizens. “Ghana, for example, is engaged in discussions to see how we can leverage our bauxite resources because we have almost over 900 million tonnes of bauxite. Rather than the bauxite just being mined and taken away, we want to set integrated aluminum and bauxite industry in Ghana, so, we have a refinery and a smelter. So, we will look for a partner to set up a company, have a joint venture, we will bring our bauxite to the table, you bring your capital to the table.”
He noted that the best way to benefit from the continent’s natural resources is to add value to them.
“Once you add value to those natural resources as we seek to do, it means you can generate a lot more wealth for the country to be able to save. So generating wealth means leveraging on those natural resources. Avoid plainly exporting raw materials, and add value.”