Strategic Conversion: Why and How Africa Can Create and Support Sustainable Artisanal Mining Projects

Mining is a business. It also supplies industry with much needed raw materials. Human industrial activities support the production of a vast range of essential domestic as well as social infrastructure and other ritual or beauty products as well as luxury enhancement commodities. Essential infrastructure include buildings, power lines, kitchenware and critical social development technologies like information communication equipment. This is all good.

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However, it has been shown time and again that when world governments allow businesses to continue with untamed marketing tactics, it eventually leads to adverse effects of cut-throat corporate competition. This, together with unconventional wooing among other business vices ends up pushing African workers into prioritizing non-essential commodities like gold over essential substances like food. This actually happened in Ghana where members of local communities converted cocoa farms into artisanal mines just because the monetary value of gold had become more appealing.

To support the production of essential infrastructure and products, new methodologies have to be created. For example, the shaft in the photograph above can be converted to a public toilet and all the tailings making mountains in the background can be used for housing projects within the same vicinity. Homeless people can then find affordable homes in the area.

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