Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Mr Samuel Abdulai Jinapor is encouraging Tertiary Institutions across Ghana to institute higher education in mining to provide well resource graduates whose knowledge can assist improve the mining industry.
He urged while delivering the keynote address at the first Student Representative Council (SRC) Public Lecture of the Ghana School of Law, held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology on 10th December, 2021 on the theme “The Legal Regime of the Mining sector in Ghana : History, Challenges And the Way Forward.”
“It is my hope that this lecture will set the tone for a broader conversion on mineral and mining law and perhaps the introduction of the mining law as a separate programme,” he said.
The sector minister also called for an all hands on deck approach from all stakeholders mining sector as that is the only way to ensure proper regulation of the sector urging the stakeholders to seek integrity in their line of duty as that is the only conduit which will ensure the environment is protected.
“We can only get to the right conclusion in respect of sanitising the Small Scale industry, if the Minerals Commission, the Minister, the Deputy Ministers, and the Ministry, work in the spirit of integrity and courage.”
The sector minister insisted that there cannot be proper management and regulation of the mining sector if all stakeholders do not discharge their duties with integrity and transparency.
Mr Jinpaor hinted that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and its staff are determined to continue to work to construct a lands and natural resources sector which is effectively managed, transparent, and anchored on integrity, thereby, contributing to the realisation of the vision of the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He disclosed an amount of 20 million cedis has been allocated by the government in the 2022 budget to help in the fight against galamsey.
Challenges in the mining sector.
The “lack of value addition, over concentration on gold, and environmental hazard” were listed as major challenges faced in the sector. According to Mr Jinapor, this is due to lack of personnel at the Environmental Protection Agency – the agency mandated to provide oversight responsibility in protecting the environment.
The Responsible Small Scale Awards Mining.
As part of efforts to encourage and promote responsible Small Scale Mining in the country, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has instituted a Responsible Small Scale Awards Mining Scheme. The maiden edition of the scheme which will be held on Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, will be an annual event “to reward small scale miners who adhere to the health, safety, and environmental standards of mining,” Mr Jinapor announced during the lecture.
The Chairman of the Public Lecture and Director for Legal Education at the Ghana School of Law, Mr. Kwasi Prempeh – Eck was grateful to the Minister revealing that he has proven to be a “man of his words”.
The lecture attracted stakeholders from top government institutions, Members of Parliament, Traditional Leaders, Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives and the academia.