- President Akufo-Addo has told Chinese authorities directly that his government will not spare any Chinese national involved in illegal small-scale mining
- According to the Ghanaian president, he would not relax the laws on illegal small-scale mining because of its adverse effect on water bodies and lands in the country
President Akufo-Addo has told Chinese authorities that the Ghana government will not hesitate to prosecute any Chinese national caught engaging in illegal mining activities.
According to him, illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, has led to the destruction of many lands and water bodies in Ghana, and must therefore not be condoned.
The President made the statement whiles addressing some Chinese officials and a section of Ghanaians as part of his state visit to China.
He said the laws on illegal mining need to be enforced, adding that an arrest of a Chinese illegal miner was not an attack on China.
“This phenomenon of galamsey has left a devastation of large tracts of Ghana lands. In many areas the lands have become ugly because of this indiscriminate exploitation of the lands with some of them going deep into forest reserves,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“People go and dig in forest reserves at midnight hoping to escape the scrutiny of the law enforcement agencies and they have active support and connivance sometimes of our own men…
"Our water bodies across the country, you drive through Ghana, you can’t drink Birem River anymore because it is now a dirty tract of water. There is no future if we continue down that road and together we have to stop it.
“Unfortunately for us, again, there are foreigners who are acting in this area. Some of them come from here [China]. In my meeting with President Xi Jinping yesterday, I said it to him frankly that we have this situation and many of his compatriots are involved in this exercise and I want him to understand that when the law enforcement agencies in Ghana act against them, we’re not acting against Chinese.”
He further stated that Ghanaians do not dislike Chinese and neither does that country have any anti-Chinese laws and policies.
He assured that Ghana will always open its arms to welcome Chinese investors, but he would not compromise on the fight against galamsey.
“We don’t have anti-Chinese policies in Ghana, we don’t have any hatred or dislike for China, on the contrary, we’ve welcomed Chinese investments in our economy, China today is the largest trading partner of Ghana…so, we have no quarrel with Chinese presence in Ghana but we do have a quarrel with those who get involved in this illegal mining and as far as it is concerned, I don’t intend to change my mind, no curve, no bend; I’m not changing my mind about this fight against galamsey,” President Akufo-Addo added.
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