• Friday, June 21, 2024
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How gold trading can help unlock West African economies – Patrick Mensah

How gold trading can help unlock West African economies – Patrick Mensah

Patrick Mensah is a distinguished luxe gold trader and the chief executive officer of Wallstreet Investments. In this interview with JOSEPHINE OKOJIE, he spoke about unlocking the opportunities in the West African resurgent gold market and how the region can use the industry to spur growth. Excerpts:

Can you tell us about the West African gold market?

The West African gold market is vibrant and dynamic. It’s a significant hub for gold production and is home to three of the top five African production countries such as Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

There are other players like Nigeria and others with potentials that can be harnessed to boost economy of their countries and the region. Ghana overshot South Africa to emerge as Africa’s largest producer of gold. It also accounts for about 90percent of gold-production on a sub-regional scale. The region’s rich gold deposits attract attention from both local and international investors, making it an essential part of the global gold industry.

Can you tell us about your experience operating as a gold dealer in Dubai?

We source directly from the mines in Ghana and ship through the best medium recommended in full compliance with government regulators. Over a decade now, I have been involved in gold trading. I used to trade in small quantities bringing it from Ghana to buyers in Dubai. Gold is a natural resource. It is the best form of storing wealth, defying recession and inflation.

By enhancing transportation networks, simplifying trade procedures, and adopting modern mining practices, the region can attract more investors and create a conducive environment for gold trading

It is one of the oldest form of investment. One of the challenges people experience is falling into the hands of online scammers. At Wallstreet Investment, we have established a strong business reputation and built investor confidence since I arrive Dubai for the past 12 years. Our investors trust us with their wealth to help them source gold from West Africa and we have a solid track record of guaranteeing customer satisfaction.

We deal on wholesale and services clientele including jewelry firms, asset management companies, family offices or even individual investment clubs. We also do our due diligence to ensure that our clients are credible and comply with anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

We also provide set-up consultation for new businesses to help them acquire gold license, AML certifications among others. Cash transactions has to be logged onto the AML portals and once a potential dealer can be transparent and opened to scrutiny, they can operate in Dubai. It is straightforward and I can say confidently that Dubai is one of the easiest places to trade in gold.

How can the West African region boost its gold trade?

Let me quickly remind you that the West African gold is one of the purest around and Ghana is the largest producer of gold in Africa. Africa is second to Asia on global production index accounting for about 20 percent of total output.

To boost its gold trade, the West African region can focus on improving infrastructure, streamlining regulations, and investing in technology. By enhancing transportation networks, simplifying trade procedures, and adopting modern mining practices, the region can attract more investors and create a conducive environment for gold trading.

Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is very key to boosting the value chains on the regional blocs as well as locally. Free trade zones can help unlock economic development and revolutionize the market.

What are your suggestions on how Nigeria and Ghana can reposition their mining and extractive industry?

Nigeria and Ghana can reposition their mining industries by promoting transparency, strengthening governance, and encouraging value addition. They can attract more investments by offering favorable business environments, prioritising community engagement, and adding value to their mineral resources through processing and manufacturing.

We hear of Illegal miners, how can governments across the West African region deal with this menace?

Governments can address illegal mining by enhancing law enforcement, providing alternative livelihoods, and creating awareness about the negative impacts of illegal mining. Stakeholder engagement and collaborative efforts involving local communities, law enforcement agencies, and mining companies can help tackle this issue effectively.

What is WallStreet Investment doing differently compared to other players in the West African mining sector?

WallStreet Investment stands out through its commitment to ethical practices, community engagement, and innovation. We prioritise sustainable mining methods and work closely with local communities to ensure their well-being. Our investment in advanced technologies also enhances operational efficiency and environmental protection.

How can businesses scale the hurdles that come with dealing with host communities?

Businesses can overcome hurdles with host communities by fostering open communication, understanding local needs, and sharing the benefits of their operations. Building trust through transparent practices, supporting community development projects, and involving local stakeholders in decision-making contribute to successful partnerships.

How may African countries protect their environment from the destruction of local miners?

African countries can protect their environment by enforcing strict environmental regulations and promoting responsible mining practices. Educating local miners about sustainable techniques and offering them alternatives can also help reduce the environmental impact while supporting livelihoods.

You were recently named the Africa CEO of the year at the 6th Burj CEO Award. How do you feel getting this recognition?

I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Africa CEO of the Year award at the 6th Burj CEO Awards by the CEO Club Network. This recognition reflects the hard work of my team and our dedication to ethical business practices.

It motivates us to continue our commitment to excellence and sustainable growth in the industry. This award also reflects on the confidence that our partners and clients have in our services just as it motivates us to continuously strive for excellence. We are committed to delivering the highest level of satisfaction and value to you. I would also like to recognize my team for their hard work, expertise, and commitment to our stakeholders.

Read also: How to identify original gold jewelry

My team has been the driving force behind our success. Each one of them has played an integral role in shaping our company’s culture and achievements. Equally, my gratitude goes to the CEO Club Network for organising this prestigious event and for recognising the efforts of leaders across Africa. They have provided an invaluable networking opportunity among international players across divides bridging the gap between Middle East and African communities in the UAE.

Your business operates in the UAE, are there any plans to open branches in Ghana and Nigeria?

Yes, expanding our operations to Ghana and Nigeria is under consideration. We see immense potential in these regions and recognize the opportunity to contribute to their mining sectors while upholding our values of responsible and sustainable practices.

What can Africa learn from the UAE business landscape?

Africa can learn from the UAE’s strategic approach to diversification and infrastructure development. The UAE’s success comes from investing in sectors beyond oil, such as tourism and finance. By fostering a business-friendly environment, embracing innovation, and focusing on long-term economic sustainability, Africa can achieve similar growth and prosperity.