Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has said government has introduced economic regeneration initiatives with the pumping of GH ȼ84 million to expand the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP).
“LESDEP was formulated out of government’s recognition of the importance of employment to human sustenance and development… employment is not only a right to work but a basic human and constitutional right hence diverse interventions to generate employment for the people of Ghana” he said.
Mr Afriyie Ankrah said this in Accra on Saturday at the commissioning of Emmaland and Cardero Ghana Limited adding that “Government has created the enabling environment for the country to reduce the unemployment rate to the barest minimum by the end of 2012”.
Emmaland and Cardero Ghana Limited is a mining company contracted to develop the Sheini Iron Ore deposit in the Zabzugu Tatale District of the Northern region.
Mr Afriyie Ankrah who officially commissioned the company’s modern head office complex in Accra, said the government applauds efforts by indigenous Ghanaian companies partnering with a multinational ones to create jobs.
He said “Government will therefore want to assure the management and investors that as long as they work within the tenets of the laws of the land, the state will continue to support them”.
Mr Emmanuel Ababio, Chief Executive Officer of Emmanland Resources Ghana Limited said the venture into mining of iron ore marks the beginning of a new era for Ghana’s economic development.
“Ghana’s dependence on gold, cocoa and in recent times oil as the main contributor to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) is over, iron ore is now taking over to contribute for sustainable economic development,” he noted.
He said the company has the capacity to employ thousands of people, provide basic infrastructure, improve upon the living condition of the people in the catchment area and transform the country.
Mr Ababio said as part of their social responsibility even before they fully take off, the company have graded the road to link Zabzugu to the Sheini; rehabilitated the abandoned Presidential Lodge at Zabzugu and equipped the district assemblies with computers.
Mr Hendrik van Alphen, Chief Executive Officer CARDERO Resource Corporation of Canada said the initial work programme would consist of detailed remote sensing imagery interpretation and geological prospecting and mapping over the area.
He commended government, the traditional authority and state institutions including the Environmental Protection Council, and Minerals Commission for their valuable contribution and cooperation.
The commissioning ceremony was witnessed a by large audience including traditional rulers, government officials, district chief executives, parliamentarians and cross section of the general public.