The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for not addressing the issue of illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, during his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).

At a press briefing on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Dr. John Kwakye, the IEA’s Director of Research, questioned why the President did not discuss the measures in place to combat illegal mining, despite it posing a threat to Ghanaians.

He expressed concern over the destructive activities of “Galamsey”, which have caused significant damage to Ghana’s forests and water bodies.

“Galamsey” is a menace that is wreaking havoc on the country in terms of degradation of our forests and water bodies, representing an existential threat for us! Therefore, for the President not to mention it in his SONA was a bit perplexing,” Dr Kwakye said.

Dr. Kwakye acknowledged the government’s strategic investments to address the menace.

He suggested that the limited success of the government’s efforts to achieve its goal could be attributed to the existence of strong vested interests.

Dr Kwakye proposed that a combination of regulatory efforts and a strong sanctions regime are needed to control the menace.

“The Government has implemented a number of strategies and invested quite an amount of capital in dealing with “Galamsey.” However, limited success has been achieved so far. This appears to be due to the existence of strong vested interests in the business, involving well-placed individuals and groups.

“It would take concerted efforts in regulation, community engagement and a strong sanctions regime to bring the menace under control and avoid its potentially disastrous consequences.”

Source: Blackgh.com

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