When MEfDA invited proposals for Alumni Regional Study Tours from her alumni in the first quarter of 2016, the proposal from Raymond Kudzawu-D’Pherdd, the General Secretary of the Accra Mining Network, was selected for the African Region, for his 5 member intra-sector coalition team to travel to Ethiopia to learn about the leading practice of ASM between July 9 and July 16. The Ghanaian Study Tour team members were Hassan Al Hassan, a Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer from the Minerals Commission of Ghana; Edward Nii Odartey Mills, a mining company exploration supervisor, Rosemary Oppong Kwasie, the Secretary of Women-In-Mining-Ghana, the Executive Director of ASM Africa-Network, Nii Adjetey-Kofi Mensah, and Raymond, the Team Lead.

Upon arrival, the team was received by the State Minister of the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum & Natural Gas of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ato Tewodros Gebrezgabiher. The team also dialogued with the various Directors of the Ministry on mineral licensing and administration, artisanal mining support and coordination, the environment, gender and value chain addition. The team further met with the Country Director of PACT, Cassandra Chapman, and the Program Officer of PACT, Yodit Yimenu on the Mine2Markets programme of the organisation. Later in the week, the team moved on to the World Bank office in Addis Ababa, and discussed extractives’ global practice with Lydia Mesfin and, finally to SUDCA to discuss gender baseline studies with the Director, Andualem Taye.

The Team had a socialisation session with the Mining for Development Ethiopian Alumni and relevant stakeholders. For the experiential session, the Team visited a gold purchasing centre, a Regional Mining Bureau and an ASM mine site in Adi Daro in the Shire region in Tigray.

The Minerals and Energy for Development Alliance (MEfDA) is a powerful initiative of Australia’s global leaders in minerals and energy science, education, research and technology innovation. MEfDA is in partnership with implementers, co-investors, participating governments, international donors, aid agencies and global institutions. Consequently, the team was hosted by Mark Sawers the Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Zoe Tiller and Elise Nalbandian of the Australian Embassy in Ethiopia.

The programme served as an opportunity for the team to learn the different ways ASM is designed and managed in Ethiopia. The visit also served as a tool to strengthen regional and local alumni networks in both countries.
The team took home lessons on

  • the rigorous land and minerals administration system in place in Ethiopia, where both the land and the minerals belong to the Government,
  • the excellent decentralisation of ASM administration, in which the Federal, Regional Bureau, Wodera (or district) levels have semi-autonomous roles, and
  • Ethiopia’s Gold purchasing system, where the Bank purchase at 5% above LME.

Upon their return, the team hopes to propose and influence lessons learnt into the following three point action plan.

To see all the relevant institution in the industry in one Office as was the case in Shire, where the Environment, Agriculture, Water, Mining are in the same office,
To encourage artisanal miners to form associations, and
Empower women to play significant roles in the value chain of the industry.

Special thanks to Jikssa Kidane (ASM Director), Teweldbrhan Abay (Mineral Marketing and Value Chain Director), both at the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Yared Antonious, alumnus, who collectively and respectively coordinated the trip in Ethiopia, with the MEfDA Alumni Coordinator, Muza Gondwe. Photos from the study tour can be viewed at

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