New voices: Ghanaian miners, students and civil society representatives talk about ASM

Article, 27 October 2016

Participants at a dialogue event held in Ghana in early 2016 included mineworkers, small mine owners, students and other community members. They shared with IIED their thoughts about the event and what they had learned about the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector during the four days of the dialogue.

In early 2016, a dialogue in Ghana presented an opportunity to bring stakeholders together and find solutions to realise the potential of small-scale mining.

Organised with local NGO Friends of the Nation (FON) Ghana, more than 50 representatives from government, civil society, academia, and industry visited small-scale mine sites and participated in discussions at a workshop.

At the end of the 'action dialogue', some of those involved shared their thoughts in video interviews: 

Amina Tahiru is a small-scale gold mine owner and represents women members at Ghana's National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM). She talks about the new Learning and Leadership Group and the importance of dialogue in the ASM sector.

Josephine Valajega is a graduate mining engineering student at the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana. She shares why Ghanaian young people should focus on the positive side of ASM and consider how they could contribute to the sector. 

Kofi Asaah Narkaah is the local Tarkwa representative of Ghana's National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM). He explains what he learned at the dialogue event about financing responsible ASM operations, and calls on the government to make sure the sector is well resourced.

Edward Kwasi Akuoko is responsible for operations at the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Africa Network (ASMAN). He briefly discusses the issues that were considered of 'lesser importance' than, for example, licensing. 

Godwin Armah is a small-scale miner and secretary general of Ghana's National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM). He talks about the responsibility of small-scale miners to contribute to sustainable development.

IIED's ASM dialogue programme provides a much-needed forum for multi-stakeholder collaboration and knowledge sharing to promote better governance, greater voice, and secure and productive employment across the mining sector and complementary rural livelihoods. 

background research report, which was the basis for the dialogue discussions in Ghana, provides an overview of the ASM sector, identifies the barriers to formalisation, offers some actionable 'ways forward' and a summary of how the workshop unfolded.

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