Assessing the timpacts of galamsey operations on the socioeconomic activities of Ghanaian rural mining communities: A case study of Ayanfuri

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Ghana is a destination for mining gold, one of the precious metals in the world. This has attracted both legal and illegal prospectors to Ghana from far and near. In an attempt to regulate mining activities, the government issues licenses to determine who mines what, where and how. The gold industry is divided into two: large-scale and small-scale mining. Small-scale mining is reserved for Ghanaian citizens only. This way, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minerals Commission monitors and keeps mining companies in check. However, some people operate without the approved licences from these authorities. Thus, their activities are deemed illegal, which is locally referred to as 'galamsey'. The aim of this research was therefore to investigate the socioeconomic impacts of galamsey operations on a typical rural mining community like Ayanfuri. Galamsey has been an issue for most Ghanaians and ending it or reducing its negative effects is one of the government's top priorities. This research employed mainly qualitative techniques like interviews and questionnaires to collect data. Content, descriptive and graphical analyses were then used to analyse the data. Research findings suggest that galamsey is a reliable lucrative and crucial source of employment for the people of Ayanfuri. It also facilitates economic activities such as trading and the creation and expansion of businesses in the community. On the negative side, galamsey promotes child labour, inflation of prices, loss of farmlands, and depletion of the environment amongst other negative impacts. Recommendations from the research include, encouraging farming cooperatives in the community as an alternative source of livelihood. Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited, the resident mining company can also sustain this by purchasing all food crop requirements from the local farmers. Children in the community should go through mentorship programmes where they will learn to appreciate education and the value of staying in school. Children who cannot afford education should be awarded scholarships, which will keep them from engaging in galamsey. These recommendations should help control some of the negative socioeconomic impacts that galamsey presents.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2014
galamsey, Ayanfuri, mining, Ghana