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But For National Dialogue, Galamsey Would’ve Been Worse – Akufo-Addo



President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has emphasized the critical role of national and regional dialogues in curbing illegal small-scale mining, known as galamsey, stating that without these discussions, the situation would have been far worse.

Despite initial criticisms of the dialogues as wasteful and redundant, the President defended their significance during his address at the Natural Resources Stakeholder Dialogue in Accra on May 11, 2023.

“When I called for a national dialogue on illegal small-scale mining, I did so because I believed that despite progress made between 2017 and 2021, galamsey remained a challenge and posed a threat to our very survival. Through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, this dialogue was held, followed by successive regional dialogues,” President Akufo-Addo explained.

He acknowledged that several measures emerged from these dialogues, which were crucial in tackling the galamsey menace and preventing a more severe situation. However, the President emphasized the ongoing need for action, as illegal mining activities persist despite the progress made.


The Natural Resources Stakeholder Dialogue served as a platform not only to address galamsey but also to discuss the broader issues surrounding the management and utilization of Ghana’s natural resources. President Akufo-Addo highlighted the significance of effectively harnessing the potential of “green minerals,” which are considered the minerals of the future, for the sustainable collective benefit of the nation.

Drawing attention to the challenges faced by many African countries in managing their natural resources, the President highlighted the paradox of resource-rich nations being among the poorest. He attributed this to poor negotiations with mining companies, corruption, incompetence, political instability, and the absence of frameworks that enable optimal value addition within the extractive industries.

“We have been mostly short-sighted in these negotiations, settling for less due to corruption, incompetence, and political instability. We have failed to establish the highest ends of the value chains of the extractive industries on our continent,” President Akufo-Addo candidly admitted.

He further expressed concerns about the negative consequences of extensive tax and royalty exemptions, exploitative labor practices, and the lack of value addition within the country. The President stressed that while mining companies should make a profit, it should not be at the expense of the land and its people.

The government’s priority the President noted is to promote value addition in the natural resources sector and ensure that the highest value of these minerals remains within Ghana. President Akufo-Addo reassured stakeholders that the government would not compromise on environmentally sound practices and optimal benefits for the people of Ghana.

“Our aim is to exploit and utilize these green minerals in a manner that ensures optimal benefit to the people of Ghana. We will do whatever it takes to make this happen,” Akufo-Addo affirmed.

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