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Hene Aku Kwapong: Finally, an initiative to develop an prospect for wealth generation for the place


As I usually tell individuals, worth is possibly developed or destroyed by the choices a federal government helps make.

As a place, we have endured lots of terrible options in the previous. Some of these value-destroying decisions have been self-inflicted needless chaos that does not stand up to reason.

Just consider about for president of previous administration appointing somebody with a retail retail outlet knowledge as power minister at a time when the country needed knowledgeable, expert profession power experts to direct.

This Strength Minister and his colleague, the Power Minister, caused the region great economic hurt and ruined worth with discounts that had been improperly assumed out and executed with exterior vitality companies.

The economy-busting mess of dumsor and the subsequent flawed agreements that these ministers signed have saddled the country with almost US$600 million in avoidable once-a-year expenditures for energy we do not use, and we do not will need.

Governing administration policy and decisions can produce or destroy value. A comparison of incomes for every capita in Ghana in contrast to its financial friends reveals a dismal overall performance in the course of the time period previous the Kufour administration.

Why did profits per capita decrease from 1981 to about 2001? Yet again, this goes back to a conclusion made by a previous president who stated in his modern interview that his motivation for overthrowing a democratically elected federal government was since the governing administration was harassing his boys.

Therefore, for the upcoming 20 several years, the state endured a period of time of expenditure uncertainty, rampant inflation, and a precipitous depreciation of the currency. Massive destruction of value.

At the time when our peer countries by income for each capita have been rising their economies, Ghana was compelled to go through an IMF structural adjustment program to reduce whole financial collapse.

Other ideological experiments by our governments and a lack of understanding of how economies function, ushered in a tradition of insolence and indiscipline that sadly wrecked numerous indigenous corporations.

Ghana’s non-public sector industries, crafted more than about two decades, ended up wrecked.

The Difficulty

It is unfathomable that previous president Mahama could grant a bauxite mining lease to his brother on December 29, 2016, a week ahead of he was to hand in excess of ability, with out regard to the propriety of these a transaction? 

A decision that could have induce sizeable value destruction for the country.  These kinds of as motion was feasible only simply because our mining property and revenue for minerals rights have largely remained unprotected.

Previous governments also have not prioritized investing in our mining means and relocating the full region down the value chain, where the state could develop extra prosperity for the region. 

It did not transpire underneath the Rawlings administration and the PNDC, and we threat it not occurring except if we make choices that prioritize the interests of the country over politics.

Ghana is not the variety a person exporter of gold even even though it has a relative comparative advantage rating of 28, much more than that of South Africa at 7.5 and Peru, which is nearly a mirror of our region with about 30million populace, at 12.8. 

So how do we end up with Switzerland, a country that neither has mines nor dominant mining corporations stop up earning so substantially funds from gold and becoming the variety a person exporter in the total Gold value-chain?

(Source: OEC Knowledge)

Switzerland receives a substantial portion of its imported gold from Ghana.  So whilst we created $10B from gold exports in 2018, Switzerland made about $63B mainly through value-incorporate processing of gold.

Even United Arab Emirates (UAE), with no gold mines in anyway, made $15.4 billion from gold, principally by importing unrefined gold from African nations these types of as Ghana.  Regretably, there is a ton of illicit gold smuggling that also will get from places like Ghana by means of Dubai.

How in heavens name do we enable nations like UAE to have such an edge in gold when they possess no this sort of normal sources?  Take a glimpse at the diagram down below.  

In 2016, UAE described obtaining been given much larger amounts of gold from Ghana than the official total indicated by the Ghana governing administration. 

That discrepancy throughout African international locations demonstrates you the extent of illicit gold smuggling, which could only happen on that scale with the tacit expertise of the authorities in ability then.

Just picture the scale of “value” that can be established by moving up the worth chain?  But also the scale of expenditure that might be necessary to do so and therefore the require for thoroughly clean Exclusive Function Car (SPV) construction to raise funds and also the scale of GDP and employment bounce these types of a quantum of investment can build – over the next 5 to 10 a long time.

The Constraints

The result of very poor choices and typically makes an attempt to put individual curiosity above the place, these types of as just about took place to our bauxite mineral legal rights is an illustration of the motivation driving safeguarding mineral assets.  

There is a require for the current governing administration to ringfence mineral means if we have any hope of cleaning up the galamsey mess. 

Except if there are self-discipline and steadiness in the mining industry, we can by no means create up worth. We will cede prosperity from our resources to other nations, not endowed with these plentiful resources.

It was with this in thoughts that Parliament enacted the 2018 law establishing the Mineral Earnings Investment decision Fund to defend our mineral assets, royalties, and other legal rights towards abuse. 

Also, it has a objective to spend in the market to shift the overall sector down the price-chain to increase our earnings for every ton of gold exported.

The Solution

Ringfencing Mining Sector Revenues

After the Mining Profits Financial commitment Fund (MIIF) came into existence, it then proven a Exclusive Purpose Automobile (SPV) to generate a system to be ready to go to external buyers to elevate money for the sector. I will contact on the reason why an SPV is needed, exclusively in an off-shore jurisdiction.

The MIIF ringfences our mineral-relevant belongings and gives us an option to handle a transformation of the full field by means of investments that have the prospective to move us up from some of the international locations earning inordinate rents from gold without having possessing such mineral sources.

That implies MIIF has to be equipped to faucet considerable investments from external buyers, a great deal the identical way you and I go to banking companies with our future earnings possible to borrow money. 

Our borrowing will make perception if it is to finance tertiary instruction that would close up aiding us make much more income as soon as we complete our larger education software.

To be in a position to do that, two things have to take place:

  1. You have to give external traders a stake in your upcoming income stream from your mineral property
  2. You have to shield the country’s belongings in scenario some thing comes about to the market, and we are not capable to pay back returns on dollars obtained from investors.

Point #2 is really significant. In an extraordinary instance, what takes place if a U.S. place orbiter discovers gold on an asteroid in abnormal portions these types of that the price of gold goes from $1,600 to $70 and the sector collapses?  We have to be capable to protect our property, and that indicates we have to use a individual bankruptcy-remote entity to faucet revenue from buyers. 

That is the Special Function Automobile (SPV), which is a usual construction made use of in worldwide fiscal marketplaces for this sort of uses.

With that in thoughts, MIIF set up an SPV termed Agyapa Royalties, why not Mamepa Royalties considering the fact that most of us have considerably additional really like for our mothers than our fathers, I do not know. 

But we are listed here with Agyapa Royalties.  SPVs are accounting entities, not operational entities housing staff like a standard company does and can be founded in an off-shore jurisdiction to be personal bankruptcy distant.

Someday if the region develops plenty of monetary depth in phrases of industry maturity and specialist cash marketplaces capabilities, we can also develop an off-shore jurisdiction in a area like Elmina exactly where the handful of very-skilled finance executives can delight in the sea.

An SPV the moment is established up demands the entity (in this situation, the GoG) setting it up to supply a bare minimum of officers to provide as call and executives overseeing the reporting around the SPV. 

So who does the governing administration appoint?  Yakubu Mensah, an mysterious general public servant?  Of study course not.  Officers of the condition who buyers can interact with at the maximum stage have to be appointed and that’s why why the Minister of Finance and the Senior Minister’s title seems on the SPV paperwork.

Monetizing Long run Revenues to re-spend into the sector

On Day 1, when MIIF is prepared to increase income from external investors, it will observe the transaction outlined over by providing a part of not-however-realized revenues coming into the Fund to Agyapa Royalties SPV. 

The total it sells will initially be about 75.6% of its revenues because of.  Why?  Due to the fact 75.6% performs out to be enough originally to help floating 49% of the fairness in it to buyers.

Notice that originally, the Fund owns 100% of Agyapa Royalties SPV, and the Fund has to sustain possession and be in a position to consolidate Agyapa Royalties onto the govt of Ghana publications.  As a result, the Fund’s stake in Agyapa SPV can under no circumstances drop under what it requires to preserve the majority stake, which is 51%.

The Fund will start out with a share issuance on both an worldwide exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange.  That initial listing will bring in an first windfall of income into the Fund, MIIF, and kick off the course of action of qualified expenditure to build the industry again up.

Ongoing dividends recouped as component of investing

Finally, we want extreme governance and transparency to produce prosperity from this for our individuals

I will all over again remind us of Peru, a state that is a mirror impression of Ghana. Peru has gold, Peru has cocoa, and Peru also has about 30million men and women, but with a GDP of about $240B, which is four situations Ghana’s GDP. 

We can understand from Peru due to the fact it has a very effectively-structured mining sector, not like our chaotic galamsey-ridden business. 

If a Ghanaian right now wishes to create a personal company in our minerals sector, there are completely no incentives to formalise a company entity.  In 2018-2021, Peru’s mining sector acquired an approximated $59B in new investments, virtually the size of the total GDP of Ghana. 

This latest financial investment specific at 48 initiatives masking building of new mines, restructuring of existing mines, and other assignments to support the personal sector in mining.

Just consider the amount of financial activity, work creation, and prospects for the personal sector to mature on the back of these types of hefty expense.  This skill for our mining sector, and a disciplined framework, to attract substantial investments is what we require else decades from now. 

If it does not materialize, we will continue on to cede worth to some others, and incomes in this place will keep on to be depressed.

What achievements will count on

The ambitions of the MIIF and by extension the governing administration will under no circumstances be attained if the current condition of the mining sector is cleaned up.  There is as well considerably chaos all-around galamsey and its harmful surroundings outcomes that creates to significantly threat to attract expense funds.

Other than the clear clean-up, irrespective of whether the MIIF and what it does will translate into elevated incomes for the ordinary Ghanaian, or it will come to be a different unsuccessful try at point out transformation, depends on complete transparency around the Fund’s operations and the expense course of action through which cash elevated is deployed in the sector.

Below are five improvements I will suggest for the governing administration to make to the regulation and the strategy to improve the odds of accomplishment many years from now:

  1. Amend the Minerals Earnings Expenditure Fund Act, 2018 (Act 9/8), to limit appointments to its board to folks with precise-associated practical experience.
  2. MIIF should have the construction of a standard fund with an expenditure committee not appointed by the govt but relatively recruited by an open up process applying an outside business. We need to remove politics out of the setup.
  3. The head of MIIF or its financial investment committee, if 1 is place in spot, ought to be open up to each certified Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians to implement. We are seeking to generate wealth, not hug our brethren.
  4. Any investments into the mining sector need to, by law, slide into 3 categories: a) enhancement of new mines, b) servicing of existing assets, and c) investing in non-public startups concentrating on worth-addition and leveraging of know-how.
  1. Involve a reconciliation process to all investments prepared for the industry, which demands payments for expert services only after accredited completion of jobs.
  2. Need necessary once-a-year reporting and yearly audits by one of the main audit corporations and transmission to Parliament on a specified date in the calendar year.
  3. The correct accounting of any money-based SPV funding platform to make guaranteed exterior investors have the confidence essential is not a task to be taken frivolously. There is always a chance of double-counting of price and mispricing.  So, I will advise MIIF make recruiting open up to Ghanaians with relevant working experience

Ideally, this system will serve as an case in point for the region to ringfence a ton of general public belongings to allow for the point out to both create have faith in in the polity and reduce a ton of the mischief that drives corruption in this nation.  It is time to take bolder steps to improve incomes for Ghanaians.


Hene Aku Kwapong can be achieved on oak@songhai.com.  He is a founder of The Songhai Group and NBOSI (National Blue Ocean Approach Institute). He previously worked with GE Money, Deutsche Financial institution and Royal Financial institution of Scotland and had been a Senior Vice President at the New York Metropolis Financial Enhancement Company.

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