The first West African Regional Mining & Petroleum Forum and Exhibition, dubbed ECOMOF 2015, has been scheduled to take place in Accra from the 6th to the 8th of October, next year.
The three-day event is being organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, and Petroleum and Energy, and the AME Trade Limited.
The main theme for the event is ‘Valorising West Africa’s Mineral & Petroleum Resource through Regional Co-operation.’
ECOMOF 2015 is expected to feature more than 30 different conference sessions, three workshops and two roundtables with industry experts who will be discussing issues encompassing the complete spectrum of the mining and petroleum sectors.
In attendance will be stakeholders from both the public and private sectors of the 15 ECOWAS member states, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Addressing the media at the launch of OCOMOF 2015 in Accra on Friday, Dr Bangoura Morlaye, Commissioner, Energy and Mines, ECOWAS Commission, said ECOMOF 2015 coincided with the 40th anniversary celebration of the establishment of ECOWAS.
Dr Morlaye said the conference aimed to develop appropriate mechanisms to achieve equity in the development, management and distribution of the benefits arising from the geo-extractive industry.
He said the event should provide the platform for optimizing value addition through regional co-operation.
He, therefore, pledged the commitment of the ECOWAS Commission to ensuring that the geo-extractive industry assumed its full integrated role as a development agent for the enhancement of the collective well-being of the people of the sub-region.
In a welcome address delivered on his behalf, the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Hon. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, said ECOMOF 2015 would be an important milestone in the promotion of socio-economic integration and serve as a platform for effective linkages in the development of mineral and hydrocarbon resources of the West African sub-region.
Hon. Buah said harnessing natural resources for sustained development was technically and politically difficult and required the collective efforts of all stakeholders.
He said it was his expectation, therefore, that the forum would bring to the fore technological advancement in natural resource extraction and the harmonization of legal, regulatory and taxation instruments as well as the strengthening of trade in mining and oil products.
In his remarks, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and Chairman for the occasion, Hon. Nii Osah Mills, stressed the need to lend support to ECOMOF 2015 to make it champion the development and management of the geo-extractive industry to meet the needs of both current and future generations.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)