By Peterking Quaye, Accra, Ghana for Shout-Africa.com – Ghana’s oil industry has come a long way after 40months of search to hit the black gold, with the government and stakeholder quest to insure that the industry gets the necessary support, series of event in the oil, gas and energy sector keep surfacing.
The Ghana Summit 2011 opened in Accra today 12th April, 2011 at the Accra International Conference centre. With more than 97 exhibitors counted and over 1,500 delegates expected to grace the three days event in the Ghanaian capital.
Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said Ghana would collaborate with the Norwegian government to ensure effective management and use of revenue from oil and gas. He said the Norwegian sense of equity and justice exhibited in their oil industry over the years was worth replicating in Ghana for the benefit of the people.
In Accra for the event also as part of their official visit was Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Mariti of Norway ,they called-on the Vice President Mahama at the Flagstaff House in Accra ahead of the summit.
The Crown Prince and Crown Princess, are on a six-day official visit to the country, they launched a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries last year and held discussions in areas of energy, environmental protection, revenue management and capacity building.
Their visit is expected to also strengthen relations between the two countries towards the opening of an Embassy in Accra in August. Vice President Mahama said as an emerging oil and gas country, Ghana would learn both positive and negative sides of oil exploitation and production in order to avoid the recurrence of the negatives and build on the gains from other countries.
Crown Prince Haakon gave the assurance that Norway would be ready to assist Ghana to achieve all their goals in the oil and gas industry.He said with good collaboration and cooperation between the two countries, Ghana should be able to manage oil revenue effectively, harness other potentials and build the capacity of Ghanaians to manage the country’s resources.
The Crown Prince said apart from oil and gas, peace building and environmental protection, Norway would also strengthen its relationship with Ghana by investing in energy to create more jobs for Ghanaians.
In attended at the launch were Madam Sherry Ayitey, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Mr Inusah Fusieni, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mr Romeo Adu-Tutu, Director of Administration, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. 1.
In a related development, Norway has provided an amount of $6.5 Million grant to the Ministry of Mines, Environment, Science and Technology to address the country’s environmental challenges.
The amount would among other issues be used for the protection of the country’s eco-system, water bodies at the mining, oil and gas areas and environmental protection throughout the country. Ms Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Mines, Environment, Science and Technology announced this during the visit of the Norwegian Crown Prince Hakoon and Crown Princess Mette-Mariti launched a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they signed with the government in December last year.
The royal siblings who are on a six-day official visit to Ghana are leading a delegation made up of energy and environmental experts and participate in an Oil and Gas Summit in Accra. Ms Ayittey said Norway had vast experience in oil exploitation and revenue management, which Ghana was ready to tap their experience for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
She said although Ghana was endowed with natural resources, not enough was seen in terms of benefits and pledged government’s commitment to harness the resources for the development of the people.
Mr Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of Environment called for efficiency and transparency in the distribution of Ghana’s oil and gas revenue to avoid the mistakes of other countries.
He said the government of Norway would support their Ghanaian counterparts to avoid oil and gas spillage, which was not only disastrous to life, but also a financial burden to governments. Mr Solheim called on Ghana to build the capacity of workers in all the areas of mining, oil and gas in order to avoid wanton expenditure of hiring the services of experts in the industry.
Mr Inusah Fuseini, Deputy Minister of Energy said the MOU would help government to accomplish work on the petroleum policy, enhance competence and capacity building and facilitate the drafting of the petroleum bill, oil production and revenue management.
He said the co-operation would also support the government and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to set up a petroleum data base and offer assistance to all state-owned oil companies.
Mr Romeo Adu-Tutu, Director of Administration at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said the collaboration would help government to adhere strictly to the tenets of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
The Summit continue tomorrow with various session on oil, Gas,Energy and technologies in the industry with keynote speaker from diverse areas in the industry .