“Technological Innovation”: Mahama Pledges To Use AI To Fight Illegal Small-Scale Mining

“Technological Innovation”: Mahama Pledges To Use AI To Fight Illegal Small-Scale Mining

  • National Democratic Congress flagbearer John Mahama has proposed the use of Artificial Intelligence to fight illegal small-scale mining
  • The former president said technological innovation would enhance the monitoring of the small-scale mining sector
  • Mahama was speaking at the '3rd Annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale mining' at the University of Energy and Natural Resources

National Democratic Congress flagbearer John Mahama wants to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to combat illegal small-scale mining, known as 'galamsey'.

In recent comments, Mahama stressed the need for technological innovation to enhance monitoring in the small-scale mining sector, which has contributed to massive environmental degradation.

Mahama on AI and galamsey
John Mahama (L).
Source: Getty Images

He proposed the utilisation of AI to identify galamsey activities and monitor excavators.

The former president also said the AI would help establish geo-fences around concessions to prevent mining operations in unauthorised areas.

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He expects this will ensure that “mining operations are not conducted in unapproved areas, including water bodies.”

Mahama spoke at the Transformational Dialogue on Small-scale Mining, which was organised by the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani.

Dr. Eziekel Agyekum, a New Patriotic Party Communicator, criticised Mahama’s remarks, saying he had nothing to offer the illegal mining fight.

“They still haven’t learned anything that would benefit the good people of Ghana,” Agyekum said, dismissing the campaign promise.

Widespread effects of galamsey

In this case, illegal mining has affected not only education but also resulted in pollution and threatened cocoa farming.

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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Bawumia promises to amend the Minerals Act

YEN.com.gh reported that Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said he would amend the Minerals Act to include traditional rulers.

According to him, he would integrate traditional rulers into the mineral licensing processes to empower them in determining who gets a license to mine within their traditional area.

According to Bawumia, the neglect of chiefs and their input in the mining industry and its regulation has left gaps that malicious persons have exploited to engage in illegal mining.

He said incorporating the chiefs would help address the problem while encouraging small-scale miners to get formalised.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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