WAMPEX 2018 Sponsorship A Right Call
Mr Alfred Baku, Gold Fields' Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, says the decision to headline this year's West Africa Mining and Power Expo (WAMPEX) was a right one, considering the importance to the industry.
The event, which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre, attracted over 1,400 mining and power industry professionals.
It was on the theme: 'A responsible and sustainable mining industry: A partner for national development,' and was attended by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In a release copied to Ghana News Agency, Mr Baku noted that Goldfields had been supporting the Chamber of Mines in hosting the exhibition and conference over the years, because it was one of the ways to bring key industry players together to discuss pertinent issues relating to the industry, as well as an opportunity to showcase the sector's contribution to national development.
'This year, as we celebrate our 25 years of operating in Ghana, we want to communicate our own contribution to the development of our communities, as well as the nation, through our investment in community development initiatives and programmes, and our fiscal contribution to the national economy.
'At 25 years we look back at what we've done, and even more importantly, what more we can do to make an even greater positive impact to our communities and the state.'
According to Mr. Baku, Gold Fields' direct contribution to the national economy has been tremendous over the years.
The company had paid about $1 billion in dividends to shareholders, since the beginning of its surface mining operations in 1998.
The Government of Ghana, having a 10 per cent ownership through a free-carried interest, has earned in excess of $100 million in dividend payments, during the same period.
Gold Fields has also paid over US$1.2 billion directly to the Government in corporate taxes and royalties.
Mr Baku said Gold Fields' impact should not only be seen in terms of direct tax and royalty payments.
'Our Tarkwa and Damang mines create over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs annually for Ghanaians, through these employment opportunities, the livelihoods of an additional 70,000 to 100,000 people are protected and sustained, year-in, year-out, we are currently busy with the upgrade of a 33km public road within our area of operation at a cost of over US$21million,' Mr. Baku added.
He said that the $43.7million, which Gold Fields has spent on community development, has helped to support farmers, promote education, improve healthcare, ensure access to potable water, and deliver infrastructure to communities.
He recognized the government's support to the mining sector, and called for continuous collaboration between government and mining sector players to address key national developmental issues.