President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed full support for the Attorney General to prosecute all persons found to be engaging in illegal mining in the country, especially the Chinese national, En Huang, who is popularly known as Aisha Huang.
Huang was arrested and deported out of Ghana in 2018 but she has found her way back into the country to engage in similar illegal mining activities.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has called for the docket and has assured that, he will prosecute her for the current offences and the previous ones.
Speaking a Ghana Bar Association conference in Ho on Monday (September 12, 2022), President Akufo-Addo noted that the period of the 4th Republic have seen strong measures to try to protect our lands, water bodies and environment from the menace of environmental degradation and climate change.
He told members of the Ghana Bar Association that the Attorney General has his full support in his determination to prosecute Aisha Huang and her collaborators, who, apparently, insist on flouting our laws against galamsey and illegal mining.”
“I expect, if they are found guilty, that the courts will apply the full vigour of the new amended Act 995, which has increased substantially the punishment for breaches of the law.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that since the onset of the 4th Republic, some 29 years ago, Ghana has witnessed the longest period of stability and economic growth in our 65 years of nationhood.
President Akufo-Addo has indicated, on occasion, that his government is not against small scale mining.
“On the contrary, the Government is in full support of responsible small-scale mining activities, as they provide an avenue for Ghanaians to participate in the mining industry, and contribute substantially to our gold exports,” he said, in October 2021, at the launch of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme, a programme designed to help alleviate the hardships of those affected by Government’s efforts to sanitise the mining industry.
Available data shows that the small-scale mining industry accounts for some forty percent (40%) of our gold exports, and has played a critical role in making Ghana the leading producer of gold in Africa.
Small-scale mining, the President stressed, should, therefore, “be encouraged, and we will do all that is necessary to promote it for our collective benefit.”
He stated, however, that “what we cannot do, and will not allow to happen, is to permit mining activities to threaten the environment which sustains our lives and the lives and livelihoods of generations unborn. We owe a sacred duty to preserve the environment, even as we reap the benefits of our natural resources. Small scale mining can, and must, only be done responsibly.”