The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Berenice Owen-Jones, has stated that the threat of terrorist attacks is negatively affecting the investment in the mining sector of Ghana and other West African countries.
According to Owen-Jones, investors are getting wind of information on how terrorist and jihadist groups are spreading in the sub-region, particularly to coastal areas which is deterring them from putting money in the region.
Speaking at the West African Mining Security Conference (WAMS) on Wednesday, the high commissioner added that the political instability in the region is also generally not helping with attracting investments in the mining sector.
“We are acutely aware of the growing security and political challenges faced by mining companies operating in West Africa-particularly in the Sahel region, where terrorist groups affiliated with Islamic State and Al Qaeda continue to expand their footprint.
“Political instability and coups in the region during the past three years have also created challenges for mining sector investment,” she said.
Commissioner Owen-Jones stated that the danger terrorism is posing to the economy of West African countries with its negative impact on investment makes the West African Mining Security Conference more relevant.
She said that through WAMS, countries in the region get to share data and intelligence which is critical to the first against terrorism.
“WAMS brings together government, academics, security practitioners, subject matter experts and the mining industry to discuss to the challenges of ensuring a safe operating environment in a dynamic and increasingly difficult security environment.
“WAMS provides an opportunity to focus on security issues facing Australian and other international mining companies in West Africa; understand the trends and directions for security and how it might impact on mining operations, both current and future; to share information across government and the private sector on current threats and mitigation strategies; and to build contacts and networks in West Africa,” she said.
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