Can Microcredit Services Alleviate Hardship in African Small-scale Mining Communities?
Summary This paper critically examines the challenges with implementing microcredit services for small-scale mine operators--individuals engaged in labor-intensive mineral extraction and/or processing using low-tech methods--in sub-Saharan Africa. The region's policymakers have shied away from launching microcredit programs for small-scale mining, frustrated by the disappointing results of the past and unsure about how to proceed with implementation. Recent efforts to provide microcredit services for operators in Talensi-Nabdam District, Northern Ghana, however, illustrate how with a renewed level of commitment and the development of blueprints which adequately address the appropriate criteria, fairly robust schemes can be launched.
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