Worried by growing number of artisinal miners in the West African sub-region, African Business Ventures and Investment Group (ABVIG-Ghana LTD) are currently pushing for a ‘regional fund’ for artisinal miners to enable them formalise their businesses.
Apart from the associated economic loss, the group said the fund would also quickly address concerns of the health hazards associated with several activities linked with illegal mining, as witnessed in lead poisoing in Zamfara state in North West Nigeria.
Moses Owharo, who heads the Planning Committee for the forthcoming summit by the ABVIG-Ghana Ltd informed newsmen the group had already commenced preliminary discussions with the African Exim Bank, the Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS Bank and ECO Bank.
Throwing more light on the forthcoming summit on scheduled for 28-31st of August, Moses said, “The issues being addressed at the summit are the challenges citizen and economic actors like business people bother government and private sectors”
According to Moses,” Energy access and cost, Trade barriers, Migration challenges, ECOWAS National Policy on regional integration and Trade, developmental, environmental and climate change issues alongside effective solutions”
Moses remarked further that the key objective of the summit is to bring together relevant regional stakeholders, including key government functionaries, industrial players businesses and foreign investors in mining.
More so, Moses noted that the summit would also look at Logistics, energy, technology, trade, and agricultural sectors including SMEs.
He explained further that the summit would looks at business and investment challenges such as access to and cost of power, suggest solutions, share opportunities for increasing job creation and economic prosperity in the West African sub-region.
According to Moses, the summit provides a platform for Public and Private sector players to interact, exchange in depth knowledge, opportunities and innovations, review recent success stories, study innovative solutions, while exploring new ways for achieving national and institutional targets in specific sectors mentioned.
Also speaking, Fonma Usoro, a retired foreign service Officer at the briefing said the summit would consolidate the dream of the founding fathers of the ECOWAS for proper political and economic integration targeted at strengthening the sub-region and even continental level.