President Akufo-Addo has disclosed that Government will in the year 2023, commission some three Community Mining Schemes as part of efforts towards the fight against illegal small-scale mining popularly known as galamsey.
The President who was addressing the Nation on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, gave the assurance that his government will continue the fight against galamsey with the support of the security agencies, in the short-term.
He added that "However, we are determined to promote responsible small-scale mining through Community Mining Schemes. So far, sixteen (16) of these Schemes have been commissioned, with three (3) more to be commissioned by the end of this year.
All these Schemes are supported with Gold Katchas, pieces of equipment designed to help small-scale miners to extract gold from the ore without the use of mercury"
His Excellency the President also noted that in 2021, he launched the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme which has so far employed several youth in the production of seedlings and reclamation of degraded mined lands. Currently, he continued that reclamation is ongoing with over one thousand hectares (1,000ha) of degraded lands in Ashanti, Eastern and Western North Regions reclaimed.
Touching on government Dept Operations, he said government is seeking and implementing some original and innovative ideas to try and solve the country’s dept problems, mentioning the Gold Purchase Programme by the Bank of Ghana and Gold for Oil Policy as examples of creative uses of the country’s resources which he opined are already bearing fruit.
He explained further that these policies are aimed at achieving two results that are critical to the health of our economy.
"Firstly, they will help us preserve foreign exchange, especially the US dollar, and secondly, they will enable us to stabilise the price of oil products such as petrol and diesel on the domestic market. We have already seen some success on both fronts with the price of US dollars and petroleum products falling since we announced the Gold for Oil policy and began to implement it."
Akufo-Addo in his concluding statements urged Ghanaians to believe in themselves, and in their capacity to overcome the problems that are before the country.
He encouraged "This is a phase, and, with every fibre of my being, I am certain that this too shall pass. We have done it before, and we will do it again".
Meanwhile, speaking in an interview with the media on the sidelines of the State Of the Nation's Address, (SONA) the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor applauded the President for inspiring a lot of hope in his address.
He expressed his joy on the fact that the President did not pretend to the needs and difficulties of Ghanaians but faced the realities of the times. Adding however that "By and large we have a government that is on top of issues and not so long in the future, government will fix the situation and take the country back to the days of economic growth and development."
The SONA is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 constitution which states that the President shall deliver a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament at the Start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.