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16.05.2004 General News

Tech. advancement determines standards of living

By GNA

Elmina, May 16, GNA- Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI), on Saturday observed that, most developing countries, including Ghana, which are without technological capacities and capabilities have been marginalized in world trade, and have been condemned to low standards of living. He explained that, countries at the cutting edge of technology, however, are at the forefront of global trade, and they enjoy greater development and better standards of living.

Mr Ashitey made these remarks at Elmina, in an address read for him, at the opening ceremony of a two-day summit, which ended on Sunday, for stakeholders in the supply chain management process of the mining industry. The summit was under the theme, "re-thinking the ways to improve mining logistics and supply-chain operations to maximise mining productivity and profits".

It was attended by 77 participants drawn from the mining companies, mining contractors, mining suppliers, inspection companies, Ghana Minerals Commission, Customs Excise and Preventive Service, Internal Revenue Service, VAT and EPA, among others. The summit was organised by the Centre for Logistics and Supply-Chain Excellence (CLS), under the auspices of Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Minerals Commission, Ministries of Mines, Private Sector Development, Roads and Transport, Trade, Industry and PSI, and sponsored by Toyota Company, Ghana limited. It aimed, among others, at engaging all stakeholders of the supply-chain management process to address the numerous logistical problems, which impact negatively on the efficient operations of the mining industry.

According to Mr Ashitey, in spite of the fluctuations in the mining sector's export performance, it continues to attract investment inflow, and that total investment inflow of the sector between 1995 and 2000, for example, amounted to 2.1025 billion dollars, as compared to 1.6032 billion dollars, for the non-mining sector for the same period. He, in this light said that, for Ghana to secure improved standards of living for her citizens, the mining industry has significant contributions to make.

Mrs Cecelia Bannerman, Minister of Mines, in a speech read for her, said recent developments in the globalisation of production of goods and services in the field of information technology, and in the management of industrial supply chains are having a considerable impact on both developed and developing countries, including Ghana. The Minister whose speech was read by Dr Majeed Haroon, deputy Minister of Mines, therefore, called on developing countries and countries in transition, to learn from the experience, and apply logistical tools to their national industrial sectors.

Mrs Bannerman urged local enterprises, including the mining industry, to revise their supply, production and distribution processes with a view to identifying their "core business" operations and outsource those operations that could be performed more efficiently by outsiders. According to her, the growth and development of the mining industry, and that of its business partners would depend on the effectiveness of their logistical and supply chain activities. She, therefore, called for the joint endeavours of suppliers and mining companies to ensure maximisation of their profits, and the prompt payments of dividend to government.

Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei, Board Chairman of CLS, expressed the hope that, the forum would offer the participants the unique opportunity to identify challenges confronting them in their supply chain operations, so that appropriate strategies and solutions could be developed to address them.

Mr Yidana Mahami, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Heavy Equipment Limited (GHEL), who chaired the function, commended CLS for organising such a summit, which, he described as the first in the country, and expressed the hope that another one would be organised in the near future. He advised the participants to take the summit very serious to enable them to achieve the desired results for which it was organised.

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