Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister explaining ways to combat illegal mining to the US Ambassador, Her Excellency Virginia Palmer.
THE US Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Virginia Palmer, says her outfit will team up with the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to help reduce the devastating effects of illegal mining also known as ‘Galamsey’.
She especially expressed her outfit’s willingness to support the office of the Ashanti Regional Minister, especially “in the fight against galamsey within the wider policy framework of protecting the environment”.
The US Envoy was speaking when she paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, on September 29, 2022, as part of the ambassador’s maiden visit to the Ashanti Region after resuming office.
The discussions between the two dignitaries mainly centered on security, economic, culture and tradition as well as how best the two can strengthen ties that will be mutually beneficial.
Ashanti Regional Minister:
The Ashanti Regional Minister indicated that the rich cultural and traditional setup of the Ashanti Region, where most land belong to the stool, gives the region comparative advantage in matters of access to land for development.
The central location of the Region, according to the minister, also makes it a vibrant commercial hub.
Commenting on the prospect for economic transformation of the Ashanti Region, he said the tripod of projects that are essential in this respect are the Kumasi International Airport, the Boankra Inland port and the need for a railway project that will link the Inland port and the two major port cities in Ghana.
Osei-Mensah indicated that the Region is putting a coordinated strategy in place to tackle the menace of galamsey and protect the various river bodies within the Region.
He said that the fight can be won when it is retargeted with concentration at galamsay activities that go on at upper stream of the various river bodies, adding that there is the need to prosecute and jail perpetrators instead of the imposition of fine.
The minister therefore called for the support of the US ambassador to Ghana in this respect as the region works in the bid to become a pacesetter in the fight against galamsay.
By Michael Ofosu-Afriyie