Small-scale Mining, the SDGs and Human Insecurity in Ghana

  • Isaac MensahEmail author
  • John Boakye-Danquah
  • Nurudeen Suleiman
  • Sena Nutakor
  • Muhammad Dan Suleiman
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


This chapter discusses small-scale mining in Ghana in the context of two intergovernmental development indicators—the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 (AU2063). Using the management and governance of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities in Ghana as a case study, we argue that the achievability of selected SDGs and the AU2063 aspirations in Ghana (and potentially in Africa more generally) depends on a political internalisation of a broader understanding of the (human) security of countries’ citizens and peoples. For example, the laws and regulations governing small-scale mining in Ghana are not normatively developed and offer little voice and benefit to host peoples and communities in areas of abundant natural resources. This results in numerous human security threats and concerns such as destruction of communities and their livelihoods, violent clashes and environmental degradation among many others. The chapter argues that the ASM sector needs to be understood as involving fundamental human security concerns as part of the broader national, regional and global sustainability discussions, rather than the sectorial perspective in which the discussion is usually framed. Drawing from selected SDGs and AU2063 goals and aspirations, the chapter contends that the SDGs and AU2063 offer broad normative but also tangible metrics by which to assess the impacts of ASM in Ghana, and adopting human security as a governance and management indicator promises a more effective conduit for achieving selected SDGs and AU2063 aspirations in Ghana.


Development Security Mining Governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac Mensah
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Boakye-Danquah
    • 2
  • Nurudeen Suleiman
    • 3
  • Sena Nutakor
    • 4
  • Muhammad Dan Suleiman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.University of GhanaAccraGhana
  4. 4.Geneva Academy for international Humanitarian Law and Human RightsGenevaSwitzerland

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