A well-researched paper on small-scale mining has been launched in Accra, with call on government to legalize small-scale mining and ensure that it remains Ghanaian owned.
The paper, titled: "The Employment, Income and Foreign Exchange Effects of Small-scale Mining (Galamsey)" and authored by the Ghana Growth and Development Platform (GGDP), a growth and development policy think-tank, notes that although small scale mining, largely the illegal type, popularly known as 'galamsey', has been destroying the environment and creating social problems across the country, government's corrective action should not make it difficult or impossible for people to be employed in and earn income and foreign exchange.
According to the paper, while government is encouraged to take steps to legalize and formalize the operations of small-scale mining, protect the environment and control the bad social effects resulting from the activities of small scale mining, those steps should not undermine the positive dimensions of the industry.
The paper has, therefore, recommended a number of measures for implementation by government.
These include strengthening institutions for monitoring and controlling small-scale and 'galamsey' activities; enforcing guidelines for the protection of the environment; controlling bad social effects; and assisting miners to legalize their operations.
The others are assisting miners to legalize their operations; advising and assisting miners to operate formally and professionally; reviewing Ghana's mineral concession system; and encouraging education by Non-Governmental and Advocacy groups.
The rest are reinforcing employment creation, income generation and foreign exchange earnings; and undertaking Alternative Programmes (ALP).
Addressing a news conference to launch the paper in Accra, last week, Mr Kwamena Essilfie Adjaye, corresponding author, Chairman and member, GGDP and indicated that GGDP supported efforts to stop 'galamsey' but wanted it done simultaneously with measures to reform it in order for 'galamse' to continue to provide employment, income and foreign exchange for miners, their communities and the nation.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)