The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu has cautioned about the dangers associated with the process through which the country extracts its natural resources.
Speaking at the launch of The Asantehene Commemorative Gold Coins over the weekend, the Asantehene stated how Asante gave up control of their resources having integrated into Gold Coast, now Ghana.
“When Asante was integrated into the Gold Coast, we gave up control of our gold resources which passed to the government. That has continued since independence with the central government controlling all our mineral resources while our traditional rulers control the land”.
“But as we all know, the process by which we get to the mineral resources entails tremendous damage to and degradation of the lands. So we have a situation in which the state glories in the glitter of gold while the owners of the land are left with the ravages from the degraded and despoiled lands”, he warned.
Otumfuo went on to say that, the devastating impact on the environment, compounded by the problem of galamsey has ravaged the country for several years, and that has thrown Ghana and the mining industry into the midst of global climate debates, which is the largest challenge humanity has today.
“The calamitous impact on our environment, compounded by the scourge of galamsey that has afflicted our country for some years now, has thrust Ghana and the mining industry deep in the throes of the debates about the climate which is the greatest challenge facing humanity today. How do we reclaim our forest cover and restore our ecosystem? How do we ensure the adoption of sustainable practices in our mining industry? And how do we now ensure that the benefits of gold are truly reflected in the communities where it is produced?”.
According to him, even though, All mining companies now provide improved social services to the communities in which they operate, but this does not mean that the social responsibility provisions shouldn’t address the need for a comprehensive review of the entire system, not only to address past inequities but also to allow traditional institutions to play a larger role on the global stage.
“It is true of course that there have been considerable improvements lately in the benefits accruing to our communities through our various interventions to mitigate the consequence of the mining activities. All the mining companies are now providing improved social services to the communities in which they operate but that is not to say that the social responsibility provisions necessarily address the need for a review of the entire system not only to address past inequities but to allow a greater role in the global stage for traditional institutions”.
The Asantehene Commemorative Gold Coins was launched in honour of Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll at the Manhyia Palace, the 24-carat commemorative gold coins as part of celebrating 22 years of his contribution to the peace, stability, and development of Ghana.
Source: Opemsuo.com/ Emmanuel Owusu Anti.