Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, the Convener of the Media Coalition Against Galamsey, has proposed that an assessment of Ghana’s natural resource management should be a prerequisite for the government to receive the second tranche of $600 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He criticized the government for its failure to protect and effectively manage the country’s natural resources, which has led to the resurgence of illegal mining (galamsey) and its detrimental impact on lives and the environment. He argued that if the government had properly managed the resources, Ghana would not need to rely on IMF funding.
Dr. Ashigbey highlighted the leakage of gold from the country, as revealed in an Al Jazeera documentary, and emphasized that maximizing the benefits from these resources could eliminate the need for IMF assistance.
He suggested that as part of the conditions for receiving the next $600 million, the IMF should inquire about Ghana’s governance of its resources to ensure optimal utilization. He also expressed concern about the direct involvement of foreign nationals, particularly Chinese individuals, in illegal mining activities, which is a clear violation of mining laws in Ghana.
The involvement of foreign nationals, including non-Ghanaians and other Africans, has exacerbated the galamsey problem, turning Ghanaians into servants of those who are destroying the nation’s survival.
Dr. Ashigbey called for the media and civil society organizations to educate communities in mining towns and affected areas about the harmful effects of galamsey. This education would empower the people to resist encroachment by illegal miners on their communities.
He stressed the importance of establishing linkages between the consequences of galamsey, such as deformities in newborns, stillbirths, and poverty, so that rural communities can understand the negative impacts of these activities.
Dr. Ashigbey urged accountability from local leaders, including traditional authorities, district chief executives, assembly members, and district police commanders, for their roles in allowing galamsey activities to proliferate.
He emphasized the need for collective awareness and action to address the galamsey issue and urged individuals to reflect on the situation and take responsibility.