Ghana’s Government is attempting to fight back against illegal gold smuggling by incorporating tracking technologies by Malta-based HandsOn Systems, former CEO Geoffrey Farrugia has said.
Ghana has been a hub for gold smugglers over the years, with the precious metal being mined in the country for more than a century. Ghanaian authorities have been criticised over the years for the lack of regulations and law enforcement in place to curb the illegalities. However, the country is now seemingly amping up efforts to put an end to the issue, with the Maltese technology company being chosen to implement its radio frequency identification (RFID) and GPS systems to track gold bars during transport.
MaltaCEOs.mt got in touch with Mr Farrugia, who is overseeing the process, in order to get further details about the project and the work being done to reduce gold smuggling.
“Ghana is formalising the gold sector by introducing traceability amongst many other initiatives. Ghana is the fourth largest gold exporter in Africa and sixth in the world, yet a lot of gold is smuggled outside the country illegally,” he explained.
“The Government is trying to clamp down these illegalities by tracking gold exports from gold mine to end customer,” he said, before adding that as a result, HandsOn Systems’ tracking solutions are being used to efficiently “track and trace” the material during transport.
Earlier this week, the former CEO took to social media to highlight the “patience, persistence and perseverance” needed to implement the project, noting that it is important to appreciate the process and experiences one has, “rather than solely focusing on the end result or outcome”.
When asked about this, Mr Farrugia said that when projects involve a number of stakeholders and Government entities, “it is expected that passing the necessary laws and getting the necessary Government approvals will take time”.
“From the time we came up with the idea to the time we implemented the project, almost two years have passed. With a lot of meetings, presentations, testing and travelling in between, this all requires a lot of patience, persistence and perseverance,” he added.
Mr Farrugia led HandsOn Systems as CEO for 12 years, before resigning from the position earlier this year, citing health reasons and explaining that he “will not be seeking the same career or the same sector, at least for now”.
Asked whether leading the project in Ghana meant his entry back into work life, Mr Farrugia said that this is not the case, as he is “still not back in full throttle mode”.
“I am planning to make an official comeback with some interesting developments that I have been working on soon. I will announce these developments shortly,” he concluded.
Geoffrey Farrugia (left) during one of the meetings for HandsOn Systems' solutions implementation / MLNR Ghana / Facebook
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