Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa Network, ASM-Africa Network (ASMAN) in partnership with the Third World Network-Africa & Solidaridad West Africa has organized a Multi-Stakeholder Forum on ‘Development of Small Scale Mining in
ASMAN says, it has recognized the frantic efforts by Government to develop and sanitize the ASM Sector.
The Forum was to provide a platform for knowledge sharing and consultations with some major stakeholders.
According to the Executive Director for ASMAN, Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah, in order to harness the potential of small scale industry, the mining Act should be formulated to define ASM in line with current global trend and practice.
He said ASM is a vital component in the mining sector which if regulated well will generate a lot of revenue for Ghana.
Mr. Nii Adjetey was however worried about the inhumane approach adopted by the military taskforce to dealing with galamsey menace, and that, the forum was to provide an evidenced-based policy advocacy tool to ensure improvement in the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) sector in Ghana.
?For us at ASMAN, galamsey must be looked at from a causative angle instead of the effect. The menace is more of a poverty driven action which requires local and home grown solutions? he added.
Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah also called on government to explore alternative options to fighting the galamsey menace.
The workshop also served as a platform to find out strategies to implement research recommendations by the Ghana Chamber of Mines to harness the potential of ASM in the country.
According to a research conducted by the association, some of the challenges facing ASM sector as child labour, environmental degradation and other health safety issues, political interference and legal and institutional challenges.
It also noted that when ASM?s are well supported and regulated, it could create employment for the youth in the country.
Addressing the forum, the Chief Executive Officer of Minerals Commission, Dr Toni Aubynn called for more support for the small scale industry, saying that ASM is a risky business “so those working in that sector must be respected.?
He pledged the Commission?s commitment to work with stakeholders to implement principles of collaborative decision-making and shared responsibility for the resolution of social, environment and developmental issues related to mining.
Dr Toni Aubynn averred that commission would continue to advocate the elimination of illegal mining in the country.
Participants included various Government Regulatory Agencies, Small Scale Mining Groupings, Civil Society Organizations, Donor/Development Partners, the Academia and the Media.