In a concerted effort to address the challenges faced by the mining sector in Ghana, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako on Thursday, May 18, 2023, hosted a special breakfast meeting with key stakeholders from the government, regulatory bodies, academia, indigenous communities, and the private sector. The breakfast meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the second day of the 2nd Annual 2-Day Transformational Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining at Sheila’s Executive Lodge, aimed to foster collaboration and dialogue among various stakeholders involved in the mining industry.
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako (first on the left) at a table with some stakeholders during the breakfast meeting
The meeting, under the Chairmanship of Ing. Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer at Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, brought together Chief Executive Officers, Directors of government institutions and the private sector, some Traditional Leaders as well as Deans and Directors of the University, who shared knowledge focusing on the theme “Forging a New Partnership: Government, Regulator, Academia, Indigenous, Private Sector (GRAIP) for addressing challenges of the Mining sector in Ghana”
Ing. Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey addressing Patrons at the breakfast meeting
The Vice-Chancellor, through the School of Mines and Built Environment, initiated the gathering with the objective of developing innovative solutions to promote responsible mining practices, ensure environmental sustainability, and improve the overall welfare of mining communities. In his opening remarks, the VC emphasized that by bringing together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, a comprehensive and holistic approach to problem-solving could lead to the achievement of addressing the menace in the mining sector.
The regulators, such as the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, were present to discuss their roles in creating a conducive environment for sustainable mining operations. Throughout the meeting, lively discussions and brainstorming sessions took place, resulting in the identification of key areas requiring immediate attention.
Notable among the issues discussed was that there is the need to form a National Environmental Security Taskforce (NEST) to ensure a coordinated Multi-Agency response to tackling environmental crime and environmental security. This should be done by involving all agencies responsible for national environmental law enforcement – including police, customs, judiciary and environmental Agencies to ensure environmental compliance.
In the short term, Patrons recommended that special courts should be established to deal with illegal mining issues so that breaches/violations that require prosecution are not swept under the carpet when they arise. To achieve sustainable development, UENR has been invited to partner with the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) Secretariat to access funds from the 5% Research allocations to undertake research, programmes and projects to promote sustainable mining.
As Ghana’s mining industry continues to evolve, the breakfast meeting served as a significant milestone, signalling a new era of cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders.