The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme ( NAELP) today, 25th October 2021 at Tarkwa, a famous mining destination in the Western Region of Ghana.

The Programme, themed “Creating Alternative jobs to illegal Mining for Sustainable National Development” is to ensure that illegal Miners who have been displaced by the activities of Operation Halt II, will enjoy the basic necessities of life, and to prevent them from going back to the illegal mining activities.

In his Keynote address, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, reiterated that the Akufo-Addo government is not against Small-Scale Mining but rather is in full support of it. He said, what his government is against is the illegal way of going about it.

” my Government is not against Small-Scale Mining. On the contrary, the Government is in full support of responsible small-scale mining activities, as it provides an avenue for Ghanaians to participate in the mining industry” He stressed.

H.E the President added that as small-scale mining contributes up to 40% of the country’s gold exports, the government will do all it takes to promote it for the collective benefit of Ghanaians.

He announced that his promise to implement Community Mining Scheme has been fulfilled as he commissioned the Akoon Community Mining Scheme, the very first scheme under the (NAELP) programme.

He declared that the Akoon Mining Scheme is expected to create some Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand (220,000) direct and indirect employment.

The President also used the occasion to officially outdoor the NAELP logo for its use in subsequent programmes and its related activities.

He also gave the assurance that, his government will make an adequate budgetary allocation in the upcoming 2022 Budget and Fiscal Policy of Government to fund this very important Programme.

Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, in his speech, stated that Community Mining has become the main fulcrum around which his outfit seeks to organize responsible Small-Scale Mining.

He added that so far, 5 Community Mining schemes with 20 concessions have been launched.

The 5 schemes he said have the capacity to employ some twenty-six thousand, three hundred (26,300) people in direct and indirect jobs.

The Minister also disclosed that his Ministry is expecting to launch a total of eighteen (18) Schemes with hundred (100) concessions, by the end of the year.

He also mentioned that the Ministry is commitment to deliver one hundred (100) well regulated, responsible, environmentally sound community mining schemes, across the country, before the end of 2022.

This he said will have, amongst others, functioning offices, proper database of miners, environmental officers on site, changing rooms for miners and sick bays.

The Minister further expressed his appreciation to the President saying ” The NAELP programme is the first of such comprehensive programme in the history of our country’s mining sector, and we are extremely grateful to the President for this important policy initiative”

The Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko on his part, opined that the event is “very historic in the life of the Western Region” explaining that he sees this initiative of government as a complementary role to achieving their collective goal as a region.

Dr. Okyere Darko, therefore, entreated all and sundry to fully participate in the NAELP programme to bring decent jobs to the Western Region and the entire country.

The live telecasted event which was held at the University of Mines and Technology ( UMaT) auditorium, saw massive participation from government officials, the academia, chiefs and people of Tarkwa and its environs.

The National Alternative Employment and Livelihood programme is pursuant to the vision of the President of the Republic aimed at ameliorating the unintended and avoidable hardships of Operations Halt II activities.

Recognising that mineral resources are finite, the NAELP programme also intends to play a complementary role as an exit route for Miners when these resources are depleted.

Story by: Kwaku Stephen

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