George Anyema (right), Senior Manager, Security, AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, explaining a point during a panel discussion. With him are Bernice Owen-Jones (2nd from right),  Australian High Commissioner to Ghana; Adama Soro (2nd from left), President, ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines, and Angela List (left), Second Vice-President of the Chamber of Mines.  Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
George Anyema (right), Senior Manager, Security, AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, explaining a point during a panel discussion. With him are Bernice Owen-Jones (2nd from right), Australian High Commissioner to Ghana; Adama Soro (2nd from left), President, ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines, and Angela List (left), Second Vice-President of the Chamber of Mines. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Govt must collaborate with private sector to prevent ‘galamsey’ — George Anyema

The management of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine has called for stronger collaboration between the government and mining companies to prevent illegal mining and its devastating impact on the country’s economy.

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The Security Manager of the mine, George Anyema, said such a collaboration should precede the creation of a robust regime where the Minerals Commission and its technocrats would be empowered to fight against the menace.

“If the government continues to involve itself in the fight against illegal mining, also known as galamsey, its efforts may be perceived as politically motivated, potentially leading to resistance and non-compliance from individuals affiliated with the ruling party.

“But when we allow the technical people to be in charge they will stick to the rules and that would end the menace and its devastating impact on land and water resources,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic after participating in a panel session at 17th edition of the West Africa Mining and Power exhibition and conference (WAMPEX) in Accra, Mr Anyema said there was the need to reduce the government’s involvement in the processes to yield positive results.

Event

The session was on the topic: “Security in the sub-region and its impact on investments in the mining and power sectors.” Other panellists were the Australian High Commission to Ghana, Bernice Owen-Jones; the President of ECOWAS Federation of the Chamber of Mines, Adama Soro, and the President of Nigeria’s Chamber of Mines, Alhaji Sani Shehu.

The session formed part of this year’s WAMPEX, an annual conference for captains of mining and power companies, West African ministers, international and local investors, researchers and traditional leaders.

The three-day event ended on June 7, 2024, on the theme: “The mining and power hub: Driving sustainable investment opportunities in West Africa.”

Investing in security

Mr Anyema also stressed the need to invest more in security to drive sustainable investment in the mining sector in the West Africa sub-region. He said security did not only play a crucial role in attracting investments to the mining and power sectors in West Africa, but also had a significant impact on sustainable development in the region.

“It is a fundamental consideration for investors when evaluating opportunities in the mining and power sectors. “Countries with stable security environments are more likely to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and private capital, because investors perceive lower risks and greater certainty for the safety of their investments,” Mr Anyema added.

The security manager further said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could face significant obstacles in achieving its industrialisation goals due to the pervasive security threats plaguing the mining industry in the sub-region.

He said rampant illegal mining, theft and vandalism in the sector did not only hinder economic growth, but also undermined stability in the entire value chain. Mr Anyema, therefore, said to realise the AfCFTA's vision of an integrated and industrialised continent, it was imperative that stakeholders prioritise the development of effective security measures to safeguard the mining industry.

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