Poverty traps in small-scale mining communities: the case of sub-Saharan Africa
Hilson, G. (2012) Poverty traps in small-scale mining communities: the case of sub-Saharan Africa. Canadian Journal of Development Studies, 33 (2). pp. 180-197. ISSN 2158-9100
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/02255189.2012.687352
This paper critically reflects on why, in many rural stretches of sub-Saharan Africa, scores of people engage in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activity – low-tech, labour intensive mineral extraction – for lengthy periods of time. It argues that a large share of the region’s ASM operators have mounting debts which prevent them from pursuing alternative, less arduous, employment. The paper concludes with an analysis of findings from research carried out by the author in Talensi-Nabdam District, Northern Ghana, which captures the essence of the poverty trap now plaguing so many ASM communities in sub-Saharan Africa.