A diverse group of national and community leaders will collaborate to turn Ghana’s artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector into an engine for growth and equity.
They include representatives from the Ghana Minerals Commission, government departments, artisanal and small-scale miners, large mining companies, academia and NGOs.
This followed a four-day “action dialogue,” in Tarkwa, Western Region, with 60 other stakeholders, which included visits to ASM sites and research-based debate.
The dialogue, convened by Friends of the Nation (FoN), with support from the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), was designed to focus on solutions and to spur collaboration in a sector widely considered “challenging” and often perceived negatively by Ghanaian society.
“The strength of this initiative lies in the diversity of its leadership group. Together we can build an ASM sector that is streamlined, respected and generates employment and wealth. We are close to a major change in the way we do artisanal and small-scale mining in Ghana,” says Toni Aubynn, CEO of the Minerals Commission.
Access to reliable information on geological assets, good ASM practices and finance sources were part of an emerging “roadmap” for a more responsible ASM sector, started during the dialogue; and there were also calls for more streamlined licensing and operational processes.
The dialogue participants agreed on the need to explain to the wider Ghanaian society how ASM can be a force for positive change in the country; and the need for improvements in the sector’s current practices, to recognise the role of women.
“The change needs to come from within ourselves. We need to make the effort as miners to work responsibly so we can improve our image. We must not ignore the role of women as part of this process,” says Amina Tahiru, small-scale miner and coordinator of women in mining at the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM).
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