Changing the Paradigm of Illegal Galamsey in Ghana
In Ghana, small-scale miners need a license before they can operate. However, majority of small-scale miners are operating in Ghana without any legal license. The activity, which has kept on attracting several thousands of local Ghanaians, particularly the youth, promises a quicker means of earning an income. However, in recent years and particularly in the last few months, the discourse of illegal small-scale miners in Ghana can be portrayed generally as highly negative and combative, focusing on the galamsey operators as lawless, irresponsibly destroying the environment and a security risk to the country. The overall objective of GGA-WA’s research was to collect information on the socio-economic impact of galamsey operations, the current regulatory frameworks and the operations of small-scale miners in Ghana and processes and ideas needed to formalize the operations of galamsey in Ghana. Information for this research was collected through a combination of literature reviews and primary data collection utilizing a range of qualitative methods. Fieldwork for the research project was undertaken in three districts (Amansiie West, Atwima Mponua and Denkyembour Districts) of Ghana with records of small-scale mining. This process included informal interviews with miners, mining officials, government officials, and local community members.