EXCHANGE LEARNING VISIT ON ARTISANAL AND SMALL SCALE MINING IN GHANA, MALAWI AND ZAMBIA

About 18 stakeholders from Ghana, Zambia and Malawi came together to learn from each other, identify and plan for new collaborations, and adopt new ideas for increasing the impact of their work on the Artisanal and Small -Scale Mining Sector in their respective countries. This 5-day programme was held in Ghana by Oxfam and FoN. The objectives were;
– Build a platform for knowledge sharing and relationship building on the ASM sector.
– Critically reflect on country, regional and global threats to the ASM sector in the respective countries
– Review progress towards the reform agenda in the ASM sector in Ghana and the participating countries
– Define an approach to building a network of women in ASM – starting with the participating countries.

DAY 1

Participants critically reflected on the ASM sector in Ghana and progress towards achieving reforms (and explored also work in the sector in Zambia and Malawi as well as explored how we could be more responsive to reforming the sector in the respective countries). The discussion covered State of the ASM sector in Ghana & Progress towards reforming the sector. Meeting was held with the Minerals Commission with discussions focusing on the history, policy and regulatory framework of Ghana’s ASM sector as well as the impact of the current ban on ASM activities, successes, lessons and challenges in managing the ASM sector.

Participants also delve deep into Environmental, Health and Safety issues where they met with the Environmental Protection Agency. Discussion was on environmental permitting regime, health and safety regulations, Successes, Challenges and Lessons learnt – Minamata Convention and Status of Ghana’s implementation. Teams from Zambia and Malawi also share 15 minutes perspectives on the ASM along similar themes as well.

DAY 2

Participants explored the role of the state in providing geological asserts, data and market access to artisanal small-scale miners and identify what can be done to better improve the situation through work in the respective countries.
Learning from practice: providing geological assets & data for the ASM; Meeting with Geological Survey Department.

– Discussions centred on the Geology of Ghana, the role of the Geological Survey Authority in improving the geological assets and data for ASM sector – successes, challenges, Lesson learnt and future work.Learning from practice: the role of State and Market Access; Meeting with Precious Mineral and Marketing Company.
– Discussions focused on the Legal and regulatory framework governing assaying, marketing and value addition of gold and diamonds produced by artisanal and small-scale miners – successes, challenges, Lesson learnt and future work.

Teams from Zambia and Malawi also share 15 minutes perspectives on the ASM along similar themes as well.

DAY 3

On day 3, stakeholders explored the role of national ASM associations, national support systems, and the role of women networks and identify how we can make ASM associations especially women networks work more effectively and its role in reducing the illegal menace in the sector.

Deep Dive into Defending Revenue Rights—Parallel session; Meeting with the Ghana National Association of Small-scale Miners and Women in Mining

– Discussions centred on the history and role of the Ghana National Association of Small-scale Miners and Women in Mining
Membership, coordination, activities, national support systems etc. Successes, challenges and lessons learnt

Deep Dive into Illegal Mining efforts; Meeting with the Secretary of Minister of the inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal mining.
– Explored what necessitated the ban, innovative efforts put in place to help address the problem since the ban, success rate, lessons learnt so far, challenges etc.

DAY 4

Stakeholders started the day by learning from the CARING Gold project implemented by ILO which seeks to reduce the Child labour and improves working conditions in ASM sector. We will then take a trip to a gold refinery, later meet with the Goldsmith and Jewellers Association visit some of their shops if possible and the also have an interaction with a local commodity buyer.
Learning child labour and working conditions in Ghana’s ASM sector; Meeting with the ILO programme manager on ASM.

Trip to Gold refinery and Goldsmith Shops
– Interact with the company on a range of issues spanning from market access, commodity purchase etc. Possibly joined by the Goldsmith and Jewellers Association and have a local commodity buyer also join us to share their experiences with participants.

DAY 5

Stakeholders discussed and distilled key experiences and lessons learnt over the past four days, turned the ideas and energy generated over the last four days into a concrete action plan and make commitments to deliver these actions; looking into the years ahead: Reflecting and developing an Action Plan. 

– Discussions focused on Friends of the Nation’s ASM dialogue programme and look at what it entails and explore possible opportunities for replication.
– Designed a road map for creating a learning forum for the countries and any other country with interest and resources to join.