Mr George Obeng Takyi, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Amansie West, has initiated a programme to project the image of the Manso enclave as a mining hub for economic development.
The project seeks to change the narrative about the thriving illegal mining activities in the area by adopting best practices to promote sustainable and responsible mining for job creation.
Consequently, a festival, dubbed: “Sika Afahye,” would soon be instituted and celebrated annually to showcase the impact of the paradigm shift and the rich history of mining in the area.
This is expected to boost tourism and create avenue for the indigenes to explore other non-mining business opportunities to improve the local economy.
Participants at a stakeholders’ forum at Manso Nkwanta to discuss the initiative praised the MP for the innovation and pledged their support for the project.
The forum brought together representatives from traditional authorities, small scale miners, the District Assembly and academia.
They made brilliant submissions, which would make significant impact when incorporated into the final document that would guide the implementation of the project.
Mr Takyi, who was highly impressed about the attendance and contributions, said the project, when successful, would change the face of mining in the area.
He said small scale miners had contributed significantly to mining revenues for the state for many years but their operations had often been detrimental to the environment and water bodies.
That, Mr Takyi said, must be streamlined to ensure efficiency and less destructive practices in the operations of small scale miners.
“This is why it has become imperative to mobilise stakeholders to find better ways to mine without destroying the environment and water bodies,” he said.
“We are also looking at institutionalising the festival to attract tourists to the Manso area annually as a means of attracting global attention.”
Mr Takyi said the initiative would address the perennial mining irregularities that had put Manso in a bad light and serve as model for mining communities in other regions.