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Hope For Small Scale Mining As Government Is Set To Announce New Mining Policy Framework

Government will on Friday 14 December 2018, announce a new policy framework for regularizing and reforming mining activities in Ghana.

The announcement comes twenty one (21) months after a ban was imposed on illegal, irresponsible as well as small scale mining activities in the country.

While some have speculated a lifting of the ban, government has been quick to correct that what will be announced is a new policy framework within which the over 3,000 newly trained former galamsey operators as well as thousands more who are interested in mining can operate legally.

Addressing the Sunday bi-weekly Press briefings in Takoradi, the Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the announcement will outline the following;

- How validated and legal responsible miners can mine after the 15th of December

- Processes towards dredging and land reclamation in affected areas

- Institutional reforms within the mining regulatory agencies

- Legal reforms in the mining sector

- Efforts to avert a resurgence of illegal and irresponsible mining

“It is our expectation that stakeholders and the general public will continue to cooperate with authorities even as this new phase is rolled out” he said

The ban was imposed in March 2017 when it was observed that small scale mining was being used as a cover for irresponsible mining as well as even illegal mining in many parts of the country. The practice fast led to a degradation of the environment affecting severely rivers and forest reserves. In some cases it even led to a contamination of agricultural products as a result of the absorption of dangerous chemicals used.

Upon institution of the ban, a security operation known as Operation Vanguard was launched to enforce the ban. The operation comprising military and police men and officers has largely been successful in containing the situation. Several recalcitrant operators were also arrested and their equipment seized.

An Inter-Ministerial Committee against Illegal Mining was established to supervise ban and the transition to the new legal and well-regulated mining regime.

Mr. Nkrumah revealed that the committee has completed its work and received cabinet approval to roll out the new framework.

He added that, the Inter Ministerial Committee on Small Scale Mining will give an update on the work done so far at the ongoing National Policy Summit in the Western Region and the current status ahead of the announcement on Friday.

“We encourage the media to help us amplify this presentation through your various channels” he told reporters.

“No More Fiscal Deficits Over 5%” – President Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the days of high public debts, high fiscal deficits, high interest rates, rapidly depreciating currency, erratic power supply, will not be a feature of his government.

According to President Akufo-Addo, his Government is determined to continue down the road of fiscal discipline, that has seen a marked improvement and strengthening of the country’s macroeconomy in the last two years.

“Indeed, we will, in this meeting of Parliament, legislate a fiscal rule that will outlaw any attempt by Government to generate a fiscal deficit in excess of 5%, in any given year,” he said.

The President continued, “I intend also to establish, shortly, a Presidential Fiscal Advisory Council, composed of reputable economists, which will monitor the performance of fiscal management policy, and advice the President on appropriate measures to be taken to ensure fiscal discipline.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 7th Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Ghana Industry Awards, on Saturday, 9th December, 2018, when he made this known.

Addressing the gathering, made of business leaders sand captains of industry, the President noted that even though the latest World Bank Index of Doing Business has seen a significant improvement in Ghana’s position, there is still a lot of work to be done to meet the goal of Ghana disposing of the most business friendly environment in Africa, and, indeed, of the world.

“The AGI and Government should work hand-in-hand to improve the business environment, and achieve this goal.  I would also urge our domestic businesses and industries to aspire towards meeting quality standards for their products and services, in order to be able to integrate easily into global markets,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo also called on all private sector players to demonstrate their commitment to contributing their quota to the transformation of the Ghanaian economy.

“Creating wealth and prosperity for the majority of our people is a shared responsibility. My government is a listening one, and I encourage stakeholders to utilise the public-private dialogue platforms, soon to be institutionalised by Government, to address issues of mutual concern in achieving the economic and industrial transformation of our country,” he added.

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