President Akufo-Addo says the fight against illegal mining (Galamsey) must not be based on partisan politics.
The President who spoke at the National Consultative Forum on Small-Scale Mining is hopeful that the policy will be backed by national consensus.
The President wants the consensus to be on a â€œsustainable method of mining the minerals in our land.â€
The President also expects that the outcomes of the forum will â€œbe beyond partisan politics.â€
â€œWe 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,â€ President Akufo-Addo said as he launched the forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
â€œIt is absolutely crucial that the deliberations of this consultative dialogue be candid and devoid of partisanship or narrow parochial interests,â€ the President added.
He noted that environmental activism should not be the preserve of mainly foreign observers.
â€œIt is the land of our birth. It is the land we inhabit. It is the land that supports our lives and livelihoodsâ€¦We the Ghanaian people must be its best protectors.â€
The President further re-affirmed his commitment to clamping down on illegal mining.
â€œI will not hesitate to act where the evidence is hard before the police. And I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved,â€ he said.
John Junapor the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, also speaking at the forum said all political parties must be on board to help fight the menace.
â€œWe will require a holistic honest national effort anchored on the integrity of action. We will require a candid collaborative and collective action.â€
â€œWhatever sets of measures that will emanate from the deliberations over the next two days, if approved by the government will be implemented diligently,â€ Mr. Jinapor assured further.
The forum will be a two-day roundtable discussion on challenges confronting the small-scale mining sector.
There will also be deliberations on possible solutions.
The forum will have inputs from key mining experts, the Small-Scale Mining Association, the Coalition of Civil Society Against Illegal Small-Scale Mining, among others.