Minerals Commission, IIEA To Lead Reform Efforts In ASM Sector

Source:NEWSGHANA

The process will enable the Commission and stakeholders in the sector ensure a major shift from an ASM sector which is driven by poverty and lack of options to ASM operations that run efficient businesses with adequate access to finance and better returns.

In the light of this, a group called the Learning and Leadership Group has been put together to lead this drive of transformation in the sector.

Speaking at a press conference at the Minerals Commission office in Accra, Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission noted that miners must play an integral part of the reform process hence the inclusion of all within the sector bracket to be part of the whole agenda.

According to him, their focus is to ensure that the ASM sector is moved from an insecure and dangerous sector to a one that enjoys secure rights and provides safe and decent jobs to mineworkers and as well inure to the benefit of the communities.

Dr Toni Aubynn also revealed that artisans and small scale mining sector contains an estimated 34% of Ghana’s gold production in 2014 and that the ASM sector can be improved to become an inclusive, responsible, right-based engine for growth in Ghana.

He mentioned that the participatory reforms process begun in January in Tarkwa where leaders took the decision to guide a process of transformation in the ASM sector which followed an action dialogue.

Dr Aubynn however indicated that, for the ASM sector to be what they envisaged it to be, there is the need for a shift in policy and attitude in the way and manner the small scale mining activities are done, and called on ASM miners to be committed to improving their operations.

On her part, Amina Tahiru a small scale miner and coordinator of women in mining at the Ghana Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM) also called for commitment and said, “We have to commit ourselves to responsible mining practices so we can have the respect of Ghanaian society. Many small scale miners are already working hard to operate responsibly and we want many more to do the same.”

She pointed out that, Civil society groups like the ASMAN have taken it upon themselves to support the development of an environmentally friendly sustainable and socially acceptable small scale mining sector that can be a toll for poverty reduction, growth and development.

Also, Nii Adjetey Kofi-Mensah, Head of the ASM Africa Network said, Learning and Leadership Group has developed agenda for action including demonstrating the business case for a responsible ASM, improving practices within the sector and also building capacity and support across institutions to recognize ASM as a force that will push positive growth and equity.

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