Chiefs can’t be blamed for illegal mining -Otumfuo
Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is insisting that chiefs cannot be blamed for the rising cases of illegal mining (galamsey) in Ghana, especially when they are not consulted when mining licences are issued. According to him, state agencies and officials have been tasked to protect the environment and has urged them not to sleep on the job.
“At the district level, we have the political administration – the district chief executive and the security council. Are they all saying that they are unaware of the activities of these galamseyers?” Otumfuo asked when the new U.S. ambassador to Ghana Virginia Palmer paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
“If they are unable to detect and stop the operation of these galamseyers then they are unworthy to be there, it is as simple as that,” he added.
During her first trip to the Ashanti Region, U.S. ambassador Palmer met with the Asantehene, other traditional leaders, civil society, and U.S. government alumni in Kumasi. The trip reiterated the United States’s commitment to economic development, inclusive prosperity, and accountable governance in Ghana.
“I’m thrilled to visit Kumasi, the historic capital of the Ashanti Region. I was honoured to meet the Asantehene. Kumasi and its people are an important priority for the United States and I’m glad to have met so many Kumasifuo. I will be back soon,” said Palmer.
Their discussions centered on the continuous U.S investment in Ghana’s human capital based on strong bilateral ties rooted in history and common democratic values. The ambassador also paid a call on the leadership of the National House of Chiefs to discuss the vital role of traditional leaders in development, prosperity, and peace.
She also met with the Ashanti regional minister Simon Osei-Mensah, focusing on the U.S government’s support for peacebuilding and governance, as well as promoting opportunity and development through inclusive investments in people.
At a media roundtable with Kumasi journalists, ambassador Palmer reiterated to journalists the United States’s commitment to safeguarding press freedoms while promoting professional development for journalists.
Meeting with the local entrepreneurs during her visit to the Kumasi Hive, Palmer underscored the importance of entrepreneurship in developing Ghana’s economy.
“Promoting inclusion and economic growth, trade and investment is one of the top priorities of the U.S. government and enhancing the skills of entrepreneurs across various sectors can boost sustainable economic growth,” said Palmer.
Earlier this year, with the support of the U.S. Embassy, the Kumasi Hive trained more than 300 local Senior High School students with entrepreneurship skills, including design thinking, marketing, and a pitch competition.
Ambassador Palmer concluded her trip with Kumasi-based alumni of U.S. Government exchange programmes, including alumni of the Fulbright Program and Mandela Washington Fellowship.