Reforming mining activities long overdue

MANY Ghanaians hold the view that we have not benefited as much from the mining sector. If that is not the case then why should a country so much endowed with rich natural resources would have many of its people wallowing in abject poverty?

THE sordid state of our mining communities says it all.  Mining communities in this country have become a pale shadow of themselves, a development that has left many wondering whether it would not have been better to have left those minerals in the earth.

IT is not true that Ghana has not benefited from the exploration of its mineral resources.  Yes, some of the mining monies through the payment of taxes and royalties have been used by the state to provide infrastructure facilities for the good people of this country.

MORE so, we have also seen some of the multinational mining companies undertake development projects in their host communities.  These have included the construction of roads, building of schools and health centres among others.

THOUGH, the above projects were inuring to the benefit of host mining communities in the country, Today is still of the opinion that Ghana has not had the full benefits of mining.  For instance, the development gap between a mining city like Johannesburg, South Africa, and Obuasi, Ghana, is so wide that one does not seem to understand what the issue is all about.

IT is in the light of the above that the paper welcomes the government’s move to announce a new policy framework with the aim at regularising and reforming mining activities in the country.

MAKING the announcement, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, hinted that the policy framework would look at the institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies, the legal reforms in the mining sector, and measures to tackle a resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining.

LIKE the minister stated, this new policy framework would spell out the ground rules within which the newly trained ex-galamsey operators would operate.  It is gratifying that finally the country would have a legal framework for players in the mining space.

WE, therefore, hope the rolling out of this new mining policy will ensure responsible mining practices which benefits should impact the lives of Ghanaians.

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