Small-scale mining dialogue must be non-partisan – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has expressed hope that discussions on the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale mining will be honest and devoid of partisanship.

“We cannot have one part of the political divide campaigning for galamsey in the bush and the other waging an official fight against galamsey in the open.

“It is absolutely crucial that the deliberations of this consultative dialogue be candid and devoid of partisanship or narrow parochial interests,” President Akufo-Addo said as he launched the forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

He was optimistic that the outcome of the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining would birth a policy backed by national consensus.

At the end of deliberations, the President wants the consensus to be on “sustainable methods of mining the minerals in our land.”

Although several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have engaged in active campaigns to save the environment, President Akufo-Addo believes that these activities have been left in the hands of foreign observers.

He wants to see more Ghanaians engaged in environmental activism.

“It is the land of our birth. It is the land we inhabit. It is the land that supports our lives and livelihoods…We, the Ghanaian people, must be its best protectors.”

Illegal mining, which has led to the destruction of forest reserves and pollution of water bodies, is one of the topical issues in Ghana’s environmental sector.

President Akufo-Addo re-affirmed his commitment to clamping down on the menace.

He assured that he would not hesitate to sanction anyone found complicit in illegal mining activities irrespective of the person involved.

“I will not hesitate to act where the evidence is hard before the police. And I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved,” he said.

Whatever the forum’s outcome will be, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, stressed that all hands on deck would be needed to sanitize the mining sector.

“We will require a holistic honest national effort anchored on the integrity of action. We will require a candid collaborative and collective action.”

“Whatever sets of measures that will emanate from the deliberations over the next two days, if approved by the government, will be implemented diligently,” Mr Jinapor assured further.

The forum will be a two-day roundtable discussion on challenges confronting the small-scale mining sector.

There will also be deliberations on possible solutions.

The forum will have inputs from key mining experts, the Small-Scale Mining Association, the Coalition of Civil Society Against Illegal Small-Scale Mining.


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