The Ghana Armed forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) on Thursday, November 10th, 2022 held a seminar for its Senior Command and Staff Course on illegal mining and its implications on security.
44 officers drawn from Ghana, Benin, Botswana, Cote de Voire, Gambia, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Togo participated in the academic and capacity-building exercise.
In a presentation, themed “Illegal Mining (Galamsey) and the Socio-economic Impact on Communities, Optimising Gains and Mitigating the Wider Security Implications “, the Deputy Minister responsible for Mines, George Mireku Duker who spoke on behalf of the sector Minister focused on the Small-Scale mining in Ghana, its socio-economic Impact on Communities, interventions made so far by the government, optimising gains, and mitigating security Implications.
On the Economic Impact of small-scale mining, he said the sector contributes significantly to poverty reduction and stimulates economic growth in the local communities whiles serving as a precursor to the Large Scale Exploration Companies.
Mireku Duker detailed that the small-scale mining sector has provided direct and indirect employment to thousands of Ghanaians.
Notwithstanding these enormous benefits, the Hon. Deputy Minister lamented the challenges stifling the growth of the sector and threatening the sustainability of the mining economy as well as the country’s security.
Whiles admitting the challenges confronting the country, he espoused certain measures rolled out by the government to tackle the challenges.
He noted that these policies among others include the introduction of the Community Mining Scheme, purchasing of mercury-free mining equipment, strengthening the inspectorate department of the Minerals Commission, training of River guards, and procurement of speedboats are already yielding positive results with the turbidity levels of polluted water bodies reducing now.
He emphasized that these measures will not only end illegal mining activities but also provide employment opportunities that will reduce possible security threats.
He assured that government will not relent on its effort and will continue to roll out interventions that will end galamsey.
He said the government will continue to sensitize the public with the Nationwide Community Sensitization program.
He said the authorization of traditional rulers will now be sought before licenses are granted.
Present at the seminar were Col. Battor Bannah Director in charge of operations at the National Security who represented his sector Minister, Dr. Ken Ashigbey the Covener of Media Coalition against Galamsey, the Advisor on Mines to the Minister at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and other Service Chiefs.