Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana (1957-2057)
The beginning of a 6-month collaborative project with the University of Ghana on small-scale gold mining.
Supported by funding from York’s GCRF pump priming fund, IGDC members Henrice Altink, Paul Kerswill, Josh Kirshner, Rob Marchant and Laura Muñoz with Professors Chris Gordon and Nana Amfo from the University of Ghana ran a project-initiation workshop at the University of Ghana, in Accra, from 14-16 January. The workshop marked the beginning of a 6-month collaborative project with the University of Ghana on small-scale gold mining. About 1 million people in Ghana are involved in this sector, which contributes about 30% of the country’s total gold output. The sector has a negative impact on the environment and public health and has also contributed to an increase in child labour, crime and prostitution.
The project aims to provide a tool for the sustainable management of small-scale gold mining in Ghana through an assessment of its socio-economic and environmental impacts since the country gained independence in 1957 and projecting into the future through scenario analysis targeting 2030 and 2057. It consists of three work packages: the past (led by Henrice Altink and Jesse Ayivor), the present (led by Paul Kerswill and Gladys Ansah and supported by Josh Kirshner), and the future (led by Rob Marchant and Nene Kuditchar). Each work package includes arts & humanities, social science and environmental science expertise.
The workshop started with a presentation by the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners and City FM, an Accra-based radio station which ran a social media campaign against illegal small-scale mining in 2016-17. The needs and points of view of these key external stakeholders were taken into account when work package leaders and other delegates refined the research questions and methods. Considerable time was also set aside to discuss the research sites and the practicalities of fieldwork, which will be undertaken by three student interns from the University of Ghana. On the final day of the workshop, the interns received bespoke training on conducting focus groups and interviews led by Judith Montford from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Gladys Ansah.
In addition to employing three student interns, the project also builds capacity through the use of three research associates – Laura Muñoz at York and two in Ghana – who will carry out desk-top research and produce a systematic literature review. Initial findings of the project will be presented at a writing workshop in York at the end of June and result in a policy report that will be shared with relevant stakeholders in Ghana and elsewhere.
If you are interested in working with the University of Ghana or other african partners, please contact Sabrina Zissler in Global Partnerships, email@example.com.