Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that citizens of China caught in Ghana engaging in galamsey won’t be spared.
He said such activities are against the laws of Ghana, therefore, defaulters will be dealt with accordingly.
Akufo-Addo said: “This phenomenon of galamsey has left a devastation of large tracts of Ghana lands. In many areas, the lands have become ugly because of this indiscriminate exploitation of the lands with some of them going deep into forest reserves.”
He said this while interacting with some Chinese officials and a section of Ghanaians as part of his state visit to the People’s Republic of China, Nana Akufo-Addo noted that Ghanaian laws will not spare any Chinese caught in galamsey despite Ghana’s strong relationship with China.
“Our water bodies across the country, you drive through Ghana, you can’t drink Birem River anymore because it is now a dirty tract of water. There is no future if we continue down that road and together we have to stop it.”
“In my meeting with President Xi Jinping yesterday, I said it to him frankly that we have this situation and many of his compatriots are involved in this exercise and I want him to understand that when the law enforcement agencies in Ghana act against them, we’re not acting against Chinese”, Akufo-Addo said.
After assuming the reins of government in January 2017, Nana Addo immediately banned small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey.
“There were those who said I should be careful raising the subject when I come here but how can I be careful raising a subject that is of concern to me? I can’t be concerned about raising a matter that is of concern to my people, otherwise I’ll be violating my own oath of office,” he stated.
“We don’t have anti-Chinese policies in Ghana, we don’t have any hatred or dislike for China, on the contrary, we’ve welcomed Chinese investments in our economy, China today is the largest trading partner of Ghana…so, we have no quarrel with Chinese presence in Ghana but we do have a quarrel with those who get involved in this illegal mining and as far as it is concerned, I don’t intend to change my mind, no curve, no bend; I’m not changing my mind about this fight against galamsey”, he disclosed.