President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has his full support to prosecute Chinese illegal miner Aisha Huang and other foreign nationals found engaging in the act.
He said the judiciary remains crucial to ending the menace of illegal mining and its attendant environmental degradation and should readily apply the law when applicable.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when speaking at the 2022 Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Bar Association Conference on the theme; “Ghana’s Democracy under the Fourth Republic; Gains, Challenges and Prospects.”
“May I learn colleagues assure you of my full support to the Attorney General in his determination to prosecute Aisha Huang and her collaborators, who, apparently, insist on flouting our laws against galamsey and illegal mining.
“I expect that if they are found guilty, that the courts will apply the full rigor of the new amended Act 995, which has increased substantially the punishment for breaches of the law,” the president stated.
He noted that since the onset of the 4th Republic, some 29 years ago, Ghana has witnessed the longest period of stability and economic growth in the 65 years of nationhood.
According to the President, during this period of the 4th Republic Ghana have witnessed sustained growth in the size of the economy; rising levels of per capita real incomes; systematic expansion of the private sector.
“We have taken strong measures to try to protect our lands, water bodies and environment from the menace of environmental degradation and climate change; ensured that efforts to meet the most basic elements of social justice.. education from kindergarten through to secondary school, and accessible healthcare to all our citizens, are ongoing.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that his government is not against small scale mining.
“On the contrary, the Government is in full support of responsible small-scale mining activities, as they provide an avenue for Ghanaians to participate in the mining industry, and contribute substantially to our gold exports,” he said.
He stated, however, that “what we cannot do, and will not allow to happen, is to permit mining activities to threaten the environment which sustains our lives and the lives and livelihoods of generations unborn. We owe a sacred duty to preserve the environment, even as we reap the benefits of our natural resources. Small scale mining can, and must, only be done responsibly.”