U.S. Gathers Experts to Tackle Illegal Mining in Ghana

Mining stakeholders from across Ghana learning about tech-driven solutions to illegal mining

“Tech Camp” connects technology experts and stakeholders to co-create innovative public policy solutions

Takoradi, W/R, Ghana – The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy Ghana, and the University of Mining and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa are convening mining stakeholders from across Ghana to brainstorm tech-enabled solutions to illegal mining.  As part of “Tech Camp Takoradi” this week, fifty stakeholders including representatives of mining communities and companies, scientists and innovators, policymakers, environmental activists, public health actors, and the media are working with U.S. and African experts on tech-based solutions that mitigate the negative environmental and health effects of illegal mining in Ghana.

“Illegal mining is one of the most challenging and serious threats to Ghana’s environment.  We are pleased to bring international technology experts, including a representative from NASA, to help Ghanaian stakeholders find a sustainable path forward that supports mining communities, while protecting the environment,” U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Officer Kevin Brosnahan at the opening in Takoradi this morning.

A man listens to a presentation at Tech Camp Takoraid
Mining stakeholders from across Ghana gather at #TechCampTakoradi

With technology experts from across Africa and the United States, the group will analyze the public policy aspects of illegal mining and devise possible solutions using the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, remote sensing, geographic information systems, and satellite data, and tools made available through projects like SERVIR-West Africa, a joint initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development and NASA.

Illegal small-scale mining in Ghana has been a major contributor to deforestation, polluting the water, air, and soil, and devastating farmlands.  It has also contributed to serious health challenges and an increased number of school dropouts in mining communities, posing challenges to sustainable development.  Although it affects all Ghanaians, there is no widespread consensus on how best to tackle the issue.

U.S.-funded TechCamp workshops in countries around the world connect participants with technology experts to co-create innovative tech solutions to real-world challenges.