Ghana hosts African extractive industry ministers

Four African states’ ministers in the extractive industry have completed a two-day meeting in Accra to review existing extractive laws and challenges to develop a work programme for the continent leaders.

The two-day workshop was attended by state officials from Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda as well as local and international experts in the sector, where they shared experiences and discussed preliminary findings of a recent study on the sector in Africa.

The African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), an organisation that provides high level policy analysis, research and advisory support to African countries, conducted the study to enable it to set up an extractive resource service on the continent.

Dr Edward Brown, ACET Director of Policy Advisory said at the workshop that “the interface between research and policy advisory is very weak in most African countries” and noted that ACET’s aim is to support African governments to address that challenge.

He added that ACET is providing policy advisory services to Ghana, Liberia Sierra Leone and Rwanda in several areas of the economy.

The study, which covered nine sub Saharan countries in West Central, East and Southern Africa, was limited to oil, gas and mineral resources. The countries were: Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The findings showed that poorly structured tax laws and inconsistent enforcement of provisions when dealing multinationals cost African Africa governments much needed revenue in the sector.

It also showed lack of effectiveness of the extractive laws and lack of harmony between country’s vision, tax laws and development agenda.

The study revealed an imbalance in the laws that protect the interest of governments versus the community land rights.

It again indicated poor revenue management including ineffective investment of income from extractives and weak systems for geological data management and extractive resource planning.

Other expectations of the workshop are to come out with a prioritize list of possible common areas of interventions and to have a comprehensive record of the proceedings and conclusion to form the basis for future dialogue.

Source: GNA

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