Akufo-Addo slams political actors for politicising galamsey
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed worry over the politicisation of issues of illegal mining, popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’, by some political actors in the country.
The President accused politicians of seeking political advantage from the war on illegal mining without considering its devastating effects on the environment.
“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”.
“We must demonstrate that we love our land and are capable of taking care of it ourselves…. Some subjects simply cannot be part of our everyday politicking,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo made these remarks when he opened a National Consultative Dialogue to fashion out a roadmap on the fight against illegal mining in Accra yesterday.
The two-day dialogue, organised by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, has in attendance, Members of the Council of State, presidents of the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs, some ministers of state, and all former Ministers for Lands and Natural Resources under the 4th Republic.
All 16 regional ministers, heads of security agencies, president and members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, actors in the mining industry, president and members of Small-Scale Miners Association, leadership and members of Parliament, both of the Majority and Minority and representatives of all political parties that contested the Presidential Election of 2020 are attending the event.
The rest are members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of academia, representatives of Civil Society Organisations, and the media.
The broad stakeholder forum is expected to dialogue on the achievements so far in the fight against galamsey and the shortfalls, and develop a national action plan to address the menace.
President Akufo-Addo urged participants of the forum to dialogue in an open and candid manner on the issues of illegal mining, reach a national consensus and develop a workable blueprint on the fight against the menace in the country.
He said although mining had created jobs, livelihood, and wealth for many in the country, it should not endanger the environment and communities.
The President said illegal mining had poisoned the land with mercury and affected aquatic plants and animals in water bodies and stressed for a national action plan to address the problem.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the government’s readiness to intensify the war on galamsey and urged all stakeholders, especially political actors, to join the fight.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor,
noted that officials of both the present and past governments had been scheduled to chair important panel discussions at the dialogue.
“We hope to replicate this consultation in all the mining regions and districts across the country. The holding of this consultation is critical because the small-scale mining industry contributes over a third of Ghana’s Gold output”.
“The industry plays a significant role in the local economies of many parts of our country. Since 2017, a bold attempt was made to sanitise this industry,” he said and added that “there is still a lot more work to be done”.
Out of the deliberations of the forum, he said a consensual road map would be fashioned and would enjoy broad-based national support.