President Akufo-Addo is hopeful the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining will result in a national policy backed by a national consensus.
He wants the consensus to be on a “sustainable method of mining the minerals in our land.”
The President also expects that the outcomes of the forum will “be beyond partisan politics.”
“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,” President Akufo-Addo said as he launched the forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
“It is absolutely crucial that the deliberations of this consultative dialogue be candid and devoid of partisanship or narrow parochial interests,” the President added.
He noted that environmental activism should not be the preserve of mainly foreign observers.
“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.”
The President further re-affirmed his commitment to clamping down on illegal mining.
“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 outcome of the Forum will be, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, stressed that all hands on deck would be needed to sanitise 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, among others.