Despite a spirited fight against illegal small-scale mining in the country on his assumption of office as President in 2017, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has admitted that the practice remains a major problem
Addressing the Eighth Parliament on Tuesday, March 9, President Akufo-Addo said his call for a national discourse on illegal small-scale mining, at least, yielded results.
“Yes, in the last four years so much has been achieved in cleaning up this industry, training miners in the best methods of mining, introducing community mining, enacting additional regulatory legislation,” he admitted.
“But the reality is that illegal small-scale mining remains a major problem.”
A national dialogue is expected to be held under the auspices of the new Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, to regulate the sector.
In 2017, President Akufo-Addo put his presidency on the line, promising to eradicate the canker from the mining sector.
“I have said it in the Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my Presidency on the line on this matter,” he told journalists at the Jubilee House at his maiden meet-the-press.
“If by the grace of God, my party allows me to go again and I have the health and everything to go again but do not get it again, then I will say to myself: ‘Well, this is a choice I have to make as a human being.’ Do you do what is right or what you think will make you get along? I think you do what is right and what you are required to do,” he said.
Many have attributed a drop in the votes margin for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in last year’s election to his fight against galamsey.