'To move or not to move': Reflections on the resettlement of artisanal miners in the western region of Ghana
Hilson, G., Yakovleva, N. and Banchirigah, S. M. (2007) 'To move or not to move': Reflections on the resettlement of artisanal miners in the western region of Ghana. African Affairs, 106 (424). pp. 413-436. ISSN 0001-9909
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/afraf/adm038
This article critically reflects upon the shortcomings of the 'Prestea Action Plan', an ambitious initiative undertaken to facilitate the resettlement of artisanal miners operating in the Western Region of Ghana. The aim of the exercise was to identify viable areas for the thousands of operators who were working illegally in the town of Prestea, an area under concession to the US-based multinational, Golden Star Resources Ltd. At the time of its launch, it was one of the few support initiatives to target artisanal miners, whose claims to land are generally not recognized by governments. It was a particularly significant exercise in Ghana because it suggested that the authorities, who traditionally have exercised a policy of non-negotiation with such groups, had finally recognized that dialogue was needed if the growing rift between the country's indigenous artisanal miners, foreign mining companies and government bodies was to be bridged. It soon emerged, however, that despite its commendable policy objectives, the Plan was fundamentally flawed-problems which would undermine the entire exercise.