The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) has urged the government to assist small-scale miners in improving their mining skills so that they can re-invest in the country.
According to the group, individuals in other jurisdictions, such as South Africa, were empowered to function responsibly, which led to reinvestment in the country’s growth.
As a result, the Ghanaian government should consider assisting them in transitioning from small-scale to medium- or large-scale mining in order to boost the country’s economy rather than enabling foreigners to control the sector.
While foreigners are permitted to mine, the Secretary of the Association, Godwin Armaah, told the media at an event that government should also provide Ghanaians the required empowerment to improve their mining in order to develop the country.
In comparison to foreigners, he believes that if Ghanaians are encouraged to engage in medium and large-scale mining, all of the profits will stay in the country.
Godwin went on to say that since small-scale mining became permitted on June 2, 1989, they’ve designated June 2 as Small-Scale Mining Awareness Day.
He added that plans are being made to make suggestions for June 2, which will be observed globally as Responsible Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Awareness Day.
Mr. Armaah stated that the artisanal and small-scale mining sector employs around 80 million people worldwide and that there is a need to recognise all of these individuals by raising awareness to ensure sustainable and responsible mining.
Mrs. Judy Nakuor Crayem, a board member of the Minerals Commission, said that while the Commission is working hard to promote responsible, sustainable, and viable mining, some politicians and Chiefs are aggravating the process.
These individuals, she claims, sometimes instruct the Commission’s taskforce to release people who break mining regulations, which she finds worrying.
Mrs. Crayem urged Chiefs and politicians to refrain from such behaviors so that the Commission can properly implement its rules.
As part of activities to mark the day, members of the Association walked through the major streets in Kumasi while holding placards with inscriptions like “Small Scale mining is the backbone of our economy, Mr. Minister sign our licenses for us to operate, Small scale awareness day must be celebrated like farmers day among others.”