The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources led by Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor and the government of United Kingdom (UK) led by Mr. James Spencer Cleverly, the UK’s Secretary for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on Monday 31st July 2023, launched a new bilateral initiative termed the ‘UK-Ghana Gold Mining programme’.
The programme is a 3-year initiative to combat illegal mining in the country and sanitise the artisanal, small scale mining sector towards responsible mining and sustainable environmental practices. In addition, the initiative seeks to support already existing government interventions such as the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme, the Community Mining Schemes and other law enforcement mechanisms. The UK government is committing £3.9 million towards the implementation of the programme over the three-year period. The programme will be rolled out in the Ashanti, Western and Savannah regions of Ghana.
During a media engagement after the launch of the programme at the National Assay Laboratory located at the Kotoka International Airport, Hon. Abu Jinapor touted the significance of the collaboration between the two countries especially in relation to the small scale mining sector as a catalyst to Ghana’s economic development. According to the Minister, the programme aims to tackle the incidences of illegal small scale mining in the country, enhance traceability, provision of alternative livelihoods and generally support regulation and law enforcement mechanisms. The Minister further commended the UK government for their support in the promotion of responsible and sustainable mining in Ghana.
On his part, Mr. James Spencer Cleverly expressed his delight with the government of Ghana’s effort in the crackdown on illegalities in the gold mining industry, smuggling of gold and illicit drug trafficking. He also expressed the willingness of the UK government to collaborate with Ghana to sanitise the small scale mining sector.
“I am proud that the UK is working alongside you, helping you to do what is right by the people of your country to ensure that criminality cannot and will not thrive here, and also protecting your people from the harm that can come from illegal mining and getting involved in illicit trafficking and also protecting the country itself. The environmental impact of unregulated mining is huge, damaging what will otherwise be agricultural lands that could be put to better use feeding the people and building the prosperity in your nation. We are proud to be a partner, we are proud to support the work that you are choosing to do. This is your project, this is your passion and this is your government’s focus and the UK stands ready to support you in the work that you choose to do giving alternative livelihoods to the people of your country” Mr. Spencer assured.
As part of the programme, officials from the UK government will work together with a Technical Committee at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure successful implementation to achieve the programme’s objective in enhancing responsible and sustainable mining in the small scale sector.