“He Accepts The Work Of Bawumia”: Mahama Criticised For Plan To Use AI To Fight Galamsey

“He Accepts The Work Of Bawumia”: Mahama Criticised For Plan To Use AI To Fight Galamsey

  • National Democratic Congress flagbearer John Mahama has been criticised for his plan to use Artificial Intelligence to galamsey
  • The former president said technological innovation would enhance the monitoring of the small-scale mining sector
  • New Patriotic Party Communicator Dr. Eziekel Agyekum downplayed the remarks from the former President to YEN.com.gh

National Democratic Congress flagbearer John Mahama has been criticised for his plan to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to combat illegal small-scale mining, known as 'galamsey'.

Dr. Ezekiel Agyekum-Obeng, a New Patriotic Party Communicator, downplayed Mahama's comments, noting that “the fight against galamsey begins with laws.”

Dr. Eziekel Agyekum speaks on Mahama
Ezekiel Agyekum-Obeng (C).
Source: Getty Images

Agyekum-Obeng further said the former President was yet to present novel proposals in the fight against illegal mining.

“One would have expected that… he would come back with proposals that resonate across the length and breadth of the country.”

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Though the Akufo-Addo government has been criticised for failings in the illegal mining fight, Agyekum defended the government’s record.

He said the NPP government has pushed for stiffer punishment and prosecuted people for illegal small-scale mining, among other things.

The Ghanaian Mineral Mining Act criminalises Galamsey and makes it an offence punishable by 15 to 25 years imprisonment.

Mahama tacitly endorsing Bawumia?

Agyekum-Obeng also argued that Mahama’s recent comments about illegal mining buttress proposals already made by Bawumia, like collaboration with chiefs or registering of small-scale miners.

“The Government is going to properly educate the people and give them certificates so that they know that they have been put through a proper education system and can mine properly.”

Bawumia has notably championed a number of technological solutions to some of Ghana’s socio-economic challenges.

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“For Mahama to even think of AI as a means of fighting illegal mining means he accepts the work of Bawumia in terms of digitalisation.”

Widespread effects of galamsey

Illegal small-scale mining in Ghana has been a major contributor to deforestation, polluting the water, air, and soil, devastating farmlands and threatening cocoa farming, one of the recent pressing concerns.

Around one million tonnes of cocoa were produced in Ghana in 2020-2021, according to COCOBOD.

It dipped to 750,000 tonnes for the 2022-2023 crop, while the forecast for the coming season is between 750,000 and 800,000 tonnes.

Illegal mining has also resulted in some violent clashes in affected communities.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

Authors:
Delali Adogla-Bessa avatar

Delali Adogla-Bessa (Current Affairs Editor) Delali Adogla-Bessa is a Current Affairs Editor with YEN.com.gh. Delali previously worked as a freelance journalist in Ghana and has over seven years of experience in media, primarily with Citi FM, Equal Times, Ubuntu Times. Delali also volunteers with the Ghana Institute of Language Literacy and Bible Translation, where he documents efforts to preserve local languages. He graduated from the University of Ghana in 2014 with a BA in Information Studies. Email: delali.adogla-bessa@yen.com.gh.

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