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'We need to promote a broader understanding of mining' - Dr. Joyce Aryee

Joyce Aryee Joyce Aryee Joyce Aryee Joyce Aryee Joyce Aryee Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee

Mon, 25 Mar 2024 Source: GNA

Reverend Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee, the Executive Director of the Salt and Light Ministry, says an enhanced understanding of the mining industry is required to appreciate its prospects and address the challenges for national development.

She said Ghana’s heritage as a mineral producing country required a greater appreciation of the impact of the mining sector.

The former head of the Ghana Chamber of Mines was a speaker at the eighth edition of the University of Health and Allied Sciences’ John Evans Atta Mills Lecture Series, which was under the theme: “Illegal Mining in Ghana: A Critical Challenge to the Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

It was held at the Cedi Auditorium of the University’s main campus in Ho.

Dr. Aryee’s presentation shared the role of the multibillion sector in Ghana’s development, saying that the appreciation of mining’s diverse economic impact would ensure sustainable development and the needed environmental responsibility.

“Understanding mining’s multifaceted role is essential for harnessing its full potential to drive sustainable development, foster inclusive growth, and address global challenges effectively.

“Mining holds immense potential for Ghana’s development, yet its benefits remain elusive if not harnessed responsibly,” she said.

An advocate for sustainable mining, Rev Aryee spoke at length about the growing effects of illegal mining, which currently threatened the nation’s safe water supply and health outlook.

There are emerging reports of babies and animals born with defects, including missing limbs.

Rev Aryee said the illegal extraction of gold dimmed the quest to attain three of the development goals and called for a full-scale collaborative approach.

She said, “top-down, bottom-up approach is needed”, adding that, short term and long-term measures should include criminalising illegal mining and broad national stakeholder group that would “monitor, review and evaluate efforts in overcoming the challenges and tackling the menace.

“Government must lead the way and partner with corporate organisations, civil society and the media. The present campaign of media houses is impressive and must be sustained.”

Rev. Aryee, who became the first woman to head the African Chamber of Mines, tracked the threats of illegal mining to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and said stakeholders should be guided by Goal 17, which calls for partnership.

She said through partnerships and collaborations among the government, mining firms and communities, illegal mining would be addressed.

Rev. Aryee commended the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for sustaining the mining sector gains to the economy, and which involved the increase in the number of gold mines, the introduction of a policy to prohibit raw state export of minerals, and the promotion of local participation.

She said it was time to develop other mineral sectors of the nation and make them attractive to benefit economic prospects, including under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The memorial lecture was attended by dignitaries including the Volta Regional Minister, some family members of Late President Mills who established the University through an act of Parliament.

Professor John Owusu Gyapong, immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University, was also present, and joined Justice Jones Dotse, the Chairman of the University Council in calling for urgency in tackling the overbearing menace of illegal mining.

Professor Lydia Aziato, the Vice Chancellor, called on faculty to focus some research on illegal mining, and said the University hoped to collaborate with other institutions in the country and beyond on the issue.

She said through leadership lecture series, established in 2016, the University immortalised Prof Mills as an “astute academic, a statesman and a leader.”

Source: GNA
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