For over a decade, Gavin has carried out research on mining and development in Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and Guyana. His work has been funded by a range of organizations, including the ESRC, British Council, British Academy, the Royal Society and Nuffield Foundation. He is presently carrying out research on mineral certification schemes; Corporate Social Responsibility in the mining sector, specifically the application of a ‘social license to operate’ in sub-Saharan Africa and relations between multinationals and artisanal operators; and linkages between smallholder farming, agricultural liberalization and the growth of small-scale mining.
Blog: 'Field Notes and Anecdotes' http://asmfielddiary.blogspot.co.uk/
The Extractive Industries and Society is the one journal devoted to disseminating in-depth analysis of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of mining and oil and gas production on societies, both past and present. It provides a platform for the exchange of ideas on a wide range of issues and debates on the extractive industries and development, bringing together research undertaken by an interdisciplinary group of social scientists in academia, government, the NGO community and industry. Topics covered by the journal include environmental management at mines and rigs; Corporate Social Responsibility and community development; the environmental and social impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining in developing countries; corruption and the extractive industries; industry reform; the donor community and the extractive industries; climate change and fossil fuel extraction; and taxation and foreign direct investment in the sector. Submissions which draw upon experiences from both developed and developing countries are invited from across the social sciences. The journal publishes original research articles, field reports, critical reviews, conference reports, book reviews and short correspondences. For more information, including 'Instructions for Authors', please visit the journal website at www.journals.elsevier.com/the-extractive-industries-and-society/.
(2015-Present) Ph.D. Co-Supervisor for Mr. Joshua Sandin, School of Management. Royal Holloway, University of London. Thesis title: "Microfinance and Small-Scale Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa", SEDTC ESRC doctoral fellowship, Royal Holloway, 3 years.
(2013-Present) Ph.D. Supervisor for Mr. James McQuilken, Surrey Business School, The University of Surrey. Thesis title: “‘Ethical Gold’ in sub-Saharan Africa: A Viable Poverty Alleviation Strategy?” SEDTC ESRC doctoral fellowship, University of Surrey, 3 years.
(2013-Present) Ph.D. Supervisor for Angélique Ikuzwe, Surrey Business School, The University of Surrey. Thesis title: “‘Young Faces in Dangerous Places: Diagnosing the Child Labour ‘Problem’ in Northern Ghana”, Business and Management Postgraduate Research Studentship, University of Surrey, 3 years.
(2011-Present) Ph.D. Supervisor for Mr. Makzum Abudher, Surrey Business School, The University of Surrey. Thesis title: “After The Oil and the Battle? Economic Diversification in Libya”, Libyan Government Scholarship, 3 years.
(2010-Present) Ph.D. Supervisor for Ms. Rachel Perks, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Here for a Lifetime: Perspectives from Rwanda’s Generational Miners”. Funding: University of Reading Studentship, 3 years.
(2010-Present) Ph.D. Supervisor for Mrs. Hope Kruku, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Can Solid Mineral Development Offset Nigeria’s Oil Curse?” self-funded. Submitted
(2010-2014) Ph.D. Supervisor for Mr. Mark Hirons, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Addressing Livelihood and Environmental Needs: What are the Implications of Implementing the REDD Mechanism in The Mineralized Territories of Ghana?” Funding: NERC/ESRC Studentship, 3 years. Completed
(2010-2014) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Audrey Cash, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Oil for Development in Africa: The Case of Chad”. Completed
(2009-2013) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Paul Kamlongera, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “De-agrarianization and livelihood diversification in sub-Saharan Africa: What economic role does artisanal mining play in rural Malawi?” Funding: Commonwealth Fellowship Program, 3 years. Completed
(2009-2013) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Godfried Appiah Okoh, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Using the grievance mechanism to contextualize small-scale and large-scale mining conflicts in rural Ghana”, self-funded. Completed
(2008-2011) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Martin Clifford, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Environment, health and mercury pollution in the small-scale gold mining industry: strategies and ways forward in Ghana and Guyana” Funding: NERC/ESRC, 3 years. Completed
(2007-2011) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Emmanuel Conteh, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading. Thesis title: “Livelihoods Diversification Challenges in the Diamond Mining District of Kono, Sierra Leone”, Self-funded. Completed
(2007-2011) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. John Childs, Institute for Development Policy and Management, The University of Manchester. Thesis title: “Fair Trade Gold: A Panacea for Poverty in Tanzania?” Funding: ESRC Studentship, 3 years. Completed
(2006-2010) Ph.D. Supervisor for Dr. Sadia Mohammed Banchirigah, Institute for Development Policy and Management, The University of Manchester. Thesis title: “Alternative Livelihood Projects: A Vehicle for Poverty Alleviation in Rural Ghana?” Funding: University of Manchester Alumni Fund. Completed
This article critically examines the policy environment in place for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to determining whether there is adequate ‘space’ for the sector's operators to flourish as entrepreneurs. In recent years, there has been growing attention paid to ASM in the region, particularly as a vehicle for stimulating local economic development. The work being planned under the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), a comprehensive policy agenda adopted by African heads of state in February 2009, could have an enormous impact on this front. One of its core objectives is to pressure host governments into Boosting Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining by following a series of streamlined recommendations. It is concluded, however, that there is a disconnect between how entrepreneurship in ASM has been interpreted and projected by proponents of the AMV on the one hand, and the form it has mostly taken in practice on the other hand. This gulf must be rapidly bridged if ASM is to have a transformative impact, economically, in the region.
This paper reflects critically on recent actions taken by the Government of Ghana to eliminate unlicensed artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ – in the country. At a time when donors and other governments in sub-Saharan Africa are working diligently to identify ways to formalize ASM and to integrate the sector into broader economic and rural development frameworks, the Government of Ghana has turned to its military and police to combat illegal activity, at times describing its efforts as a ‘fight’ and the phenomenon itself as ‘a menace’. The decision of the government has come as a surprise, given that ASM accounts for more than 30 percent of the country's gold production, and employs close to one million people directly nationwide and generates millions of more jobs in the upstream and downstream industries it spawns.
This paper reflects critically on the state of mining sector-led development in sub-Saharan Africa. It argues that in most countries in the region, policies are ‘biased’ in favour of large-scale extraction. World Bank officials have long maintained that, in sub-Saharan Africa, the large-scale mines financed and operated by foreign multinationals could become ‘growth poles’ which stimulate marked economic development. For this to happen, however, radically different policy approaches will be needed – changes which, up until now, the region’s governments have shown little interest in making.
This article contributes to the debate on the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – in developing countries. A unique sector populated by an eclectic group of individuals, ASM has expanded rapidly in all corners of the world in recent years. Most of its activities, however, are informal, scattered across lands which are not officially titled. But growing recognition of the sector's economic importance, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, has forced donors, and to some extent, policymakers, to ‘rethink’ development strategies for ASM. As part of broader moves to improve the regulation of, and occasionally intensify the delivery of assistance to, the sector, many are now searching frantically for fresh ideas on how to bring operations into the legal domain, where, it is believed, they can be regulated, monitored and supported more effectively. A challenging exercise, this entails first determining, with some degree of precision, why people choose to operate informally in this sector. Drawing on analysis from the literature and findings from research conducted in Ghana and Niger, it is argued that the legalist school (on informality) in part explains how governments across sub-Saharan Africa are ‘creating’ bureaucracies which are stifling the formalization of ASM activities in the region. A more nuanced development strategy grounded in local realities is needed if formalization is to have a transformative effect on the livelihoods of those engaged in ASM in the region and elsewhere in the developing world.
In recent years, a number of academic analyses have emerged which reflect critically on why most artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities–low tech, labour-intensive, mineral extraction and processing– occur in informal ‘spaces’. This body of scholarship, however, is heavily disconnected from work being carried out by policymakers and donors who, recognizing the growing economic importance of ASM in numerous rural sections of the developing world, are now working to identify ways in which to facilitate the formalization of its activities. It has rather drawn mostly on theories of informality that have been developed around radically different, and in many cases, incomparable, experiences, as well as largely redundant ideas, to contextualize phenomena in the sector. This paper reflects critically on the implications of this widening gulf, with the aim of facilitating a better alignment of scholarly debates on ASM’s informality with overarching policy/donor objectives. The divide must be reconciled if the case for formalizing ASM is to be strengthened, and policy is to be reformulated to reflect more accurately the many dimensions of the sector’s operations.
In recent decades, Guyana’s gold-rich interior has been the location of numerous, mostly low-latent, conflicts. In each case, groups of Afro and Indo-Guyanese originating from the country’s coastal cities and towns – popularly referred to as ‘Coast Landers’ – have clashed with indigenous Amerindians over control of remote parcels of land containing gold deposits. Each appears to have a valid argument in support of its position: the former contend that they are legally entitled to work these lands, having obtained the requisite permits from the central government to mine for gold, whilst the latter maintain that such decisions constitute a breach of their human rights, and draw attention to key legislation in support of their case. This article broadens understanding of the dynamics of these conflicts by reflecting more critically on the arguments presented by both parties. Drawing heavily on research conducted in Mahdia-Campbelltown, one location where frictions between Coast Lander mining groups and Amerindians are particularly serious, it is argued that these disputes are not about control of gold riches as is popularly believed but rather a product of deeply-rooted ethnic tensions between these parties.
In recent years, donors and certain governments have committed to formalizing and supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)–lowtech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing. Few, however, are able to do so effectively because of a limited knowledge of how the sector operates, who it employs and where the commodities it mines are being channelled. This article argues that a radical re-conceptualization of ASM will be needed if these challenges are to be overcome. As a starting point, it calls on donors and policymakers to adopt the Global Production Network (GPN) as a ‘lens’ for analyzing the sector’s organizational structures. Popular in geography scholarship, the GPN, though rarely used to study the intricacies of largely-informal sectors such as ASM, could prove valuable here, aiding with the mapping of key production processes. The GPN was applied to Ghana’s artisanal diamond mining sector, research which yielded valuable insight about its organization, the roles played by the different individuals who populate it, and the nature of the relationships between these individuals. This information is a key to designing more robust formalization and support strategies for ASM in the country, and the exercise, overall, provides important lessons for other governments working to achieve similar goals.
This article offers explanations for the underwhelming economic performance of Guyana, a country heavily dependent on the revenue generated from gold mining. Here, government intervention has spawned a gold mining sector which today is comprised exclusively of local small and medium-scale operators. But whilst this rather unique model appears to be the ideal blueprint for facilitating local development, the country seems to be experiencing many of the same setbacks that have beset scores of other resource-rich developing world economies. Unless these problems are anticipated, properly diagnosed and appropriately tackled, a resource curse-type outcome is inevitable, irrespective of the context.
This paper offers preliminary reflections on the direction and impact of the emerging ‘ethical minerals’ agenda, focusing specifically on the case of sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past two decades, the mining industry in this region has experienced profound change, reshaped by large injections of foreign investment. During this period, host governments have redrafted fiscal policies in an attempt to attract multinational mining and exploration companies. These moves, however, have stifled the regularization of artisanal and small-scale mine operators, hundreds of thousands of whom have struggled to secure their own permits due to a lack of available land, the exorbitant costs of legalizing their activities, and excessively-bureaucratic registration processes. Ethical mineral schemes and standards, which seek to connect producers to consumers, have been championed as potential mechanisms for alleviating the hardships of these operators. But further analysis reveals that there is considerable discrepancy between the implied and at times, stated, aims and impacts of the interventions being piloted/implemented in the region on the one hand, and what is actually happening in practice on the other hand. The analysis serves as a stark reminder that the ethical mineral schemes and standards being piloted/implemented are not development interventions, as is often believed.
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Assembly date: Tue Feb 20 00:24:59 GMT 2018
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