Migration dynamics and small scale gold mining in north-eastern Ghana: implications for sustainable rural livelihoods

Mariama Awumbila, University of Ghana
Dzodzi Tsikata, University of Ghana

Traditionally, north eastern Ghana has experienced net out migration, with movement from the north to the south largely to work in the cocoa growing areas of the south. The 1990s however saw some form of reverse migration largely of small scale miners moving from the mining areas of the south to engage in small scale gold mining in the north. This was a result of the discovery of gold deposits in the early 1990s which led to an influx of an estimated 20,000 people into the region thereby increasing its importance in the local economy. This paper examines how the migration of small scale gold miners, has led to a re-structuring of livelihoods around gold mining, which was hitherto marginal to livelihoods. It raises sustainability issues with regard to the impact of mining for land and resource tenure for livelihoods, social and gender relations and on health and the environment.

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Presented in Session 84: Consequences of internal migration