A one-day forum aimed at promoting the sustainable use and management of mineral resources in Ghana has been held in Tamale.
The forum was organized by the Foundation for the Transformation of Marginal Areas (TAMA Foundation) Universal, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with the Ford Foundation.
The meeting brought together 50 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the Northern, Savannah, North East, Upper East and West regions of the North as well as the academia and the media.
Northern Ghana has in the last decade, become a mining hub with many small and large scale companies operating in the area, a development that poses both positive and negative consequences on the environment and the lives of the people.
The forum was, therefore, to create the room for Civil Society Organisations, to join heads and efforts in making the mining of the mineral resources safe and beneficial to the citizens.
It was also meant to allow space for experts in the mining sector to explain in detail, the AGYAPA Royalties Deal to Civil Society Organisations within the Northern sector to enable them make an informed decision regarding it.
The Executive Director and Co-Founder of TAMA Foundation Universal Dr Chrys Anab, in remarks, called for collaborative efforts among Civil Society Organisations to fight the menace of bad mining practices in Ghana.
He also urged CSOs in the Northern Sector to take a keen interest in the contentious AGYAPA Royalties Deal as proposed by the government by forming coalitions and Unions among themselves as well as actively and openly stating their stands on it to help shape the deal and make the mining industry beneficial to the citizens of Ghana.
“We had the opportunity of getting a resource person to throw more lights on the great areas and to solicit the views of CSOs here as to what should be done to make sure that the AGYAPA Deal benefits the citizens,” he said
The Executive Director of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr Ban Boakye, in his submission, said the AGYAPA Royalties Deal, poses more danger than good to Ghana and encouraged the citizens to rally against it
He also urged the Parliament of Ghana to play its oversight responsibility well to prevent the government from selling all the country’s mineral resources through the AGYAPA Deal.
The Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Professor Samuel Jerry Cobinna, in presenting research findings on the topic”The State of Mining in Northern Ghana,” called for rigorous implementation of the mining laws to protect the natural resources and the environment.
He further called for the adaptation of advanced modern land rehabilitation techniques, low-impact mining methods and the reuse of mining waste to help minimise the impact of mining on the immediate environment.