Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo is optimistic that the recently announced return of Anglo Gold Ashanti to one of Ghana's most lucrative mining towns will bring about economic benefits for ordinary Ghanaians, he told delegates on the second day of the 2019 Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
The town of Obuasi in Ghana is said to be the site of the richest Anglo Gold Ashanti gold mine in the world, he said, but in spite of this, the town looks nothing like a town where a multinational company has invested hundreds of millions.
The Mining Indaba is an international gathering of the mining industry, investors, government and labour, which is set to take place from Monday to Thursday.
"So why does Obuasi not look like a place from where hundreds of millions of dollars have been made? It should be the most beautiful city in Ghana, or one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it is far from it.
"After an absence of five years from the scene because of uncontrolled illegal mining, the company is back again. I had the pleasure of re-opening the mine two weeks ago under an agreement that balances, more fairly, the interest of the two sides," Akufo-Addo said to applause.
President Akufo-Addo was unapologetic about the negative impact certain mining companies have had on some African communities through displacement, environmental impact and investment deals that favoured companies at the expense of local communities.