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Reforming small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa: Political and ideological challenges to a Fair Trade gold initiative

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  • Childs, John

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has caused a range of environmental, social and economic problems. Most of the donor support pledged to improve conditions in the sector to date, however, has failed to facilitate marked improvements, in large part because emphasis has been placed on technical interventions; at the same time, impoverished miners' needs and concerns have been seriously overlooked. It is against this background that this paper critically examines the underpinnings and potential of "Fair Trade gold" as a solution to many of the problems plaguing the ASM sector and a mechanism for alleviating the hardships of its operators. Unlike the majority of ASM-support support measures implemented in the past, "Fair Trade gold" is entrenched in the discourse of "partnership" and "participation". To ensure its effectiveness initiatives must be adapted according to the specificities of ASM.

Suggested Citation

  • Childs, John, 2008. "Reforming small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa: Political and ideological challenges to a Fair Trade gold initiative," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 203-209, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:33:y:2008:i:4:p:203-209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mohammed Banchirigah, Sadia, 2006. "How have reforms fuelled the expansion of artisanal mining? Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 165-171.
    2. N/A, 1996. "Note:," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 31(1-2), pages 1-1, January.
    3. Sally Smith & Stephanie Barrientos, 2005. "Fair trade and ethical trade: are there moves towards convergence?," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 190-198.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sadia Banchirigah & Gavin Hilson, 2010. "De-agrarianization, re-agrarianization and local economic development: Re-orientating livelihoods in African artisanal mining communities," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 43(2), pages 157-180, June.
    2. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3071-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bodenheimer, Miriam, 2014. "Certifying improvement, improving certification: An analysis based on the artisanal and small-scale mining sector," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S9/2014, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    4. Hilson, Gavin, 2009. "Small-scale mining, poverty and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa: An overview," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 1-5.
    5. Sinan Erzurumlu, S. & Erzurumlu, Yaman O., 2015. "Sustainable mining development with community using design thinking and multi-criteria decision analysis," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 6-14.
    6. Saldarriaga-Isaza, Adrián & Villegas-Palacio, Clara & Arango, Santiago, 2013. "The public good dilemma of a non-renewable common resource: A look at the facts of artisanal gold mining," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 224-232.
    7. Hilson, Gavin & Hilson, Abigail & McQuilken, James, 2016. "Ethical minerals: Fairer trade for whom?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 232-247.
    8. Munier, Nathan, 2016. "“The one who controls the diamond wears the crown! The politicization of the Kimberley Process in Zimbabwe”," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 171-177.
    9. Gavin Hilson & Chris Garforth, 2012. "‘Agricultural Poverty’ and the Expansion of Artisanal Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experiences from Southwest Mali and Southeast Ghana," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), pages 435-464.
    10. Fritz, Morgane M.C. & Maxson, Peter A. & Baumgartner, Rupert J., 2016. "The mercury supply chain, stakeholders and their responsibilities in the quest for mercury-free gold," Resources Policy, Elsevier, pages 177-192.

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