Youth Migration and Conflict in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining
: A Case Study of Mining Communities in the Eastern Region of Ghana

  • Richard Oppong Ntiri

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) sector has, in recent years, become the most important non-farm economic activity in mineral-rich developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, generating employment and development for local economies (ARM, 2013). The sector, which has been described by some as being chaotic, has grown rapidly and is closely associated with migration, drawing in thousands of individuals from both far and near (Hilson and Banchirigah, 2009).Artisanal mining camps in Ghana have, for many years, been subjected to the pressures of in-migration. Yet, to date, there has neither been an examination of how this influx affects host-migrant relations nor a critical investigation into the nexus between migration and conflict within the sector. While much literature suggests a harmonious relationship between migrant ASM operators and members of the host community, some critical observers have called for further investigation into the potential for conflict arising from migration into ASM areas. More specifically, there has been little empirical documentation of the perception and experiences of the migrants involved. The central purpose of the thesis, therefore, is to address this gap.Using a qualitative research approach, this study explores the nature of the host-migrant relationship within ASM communities, identifies the relevant as well as incidental causes of conflicts, and seeks clarification on the measures adopted to peacefully resolve these altercations between these groups. The study examines communities that have recently seen the proliferation of intense illegal mining activity, driven by the recent siting of a large-scale mining company, and the discovery of gold in commercial quantities. Focusing on young migrant artisanal miners, a major constituent of migration, the study critically explored enquiries and observations of their activities, perceptions and experiences, to gain a deeper understanding of how the quest for a livelihood based on natural resource extraction affects and is affected by host-migrant relationships.
Date of Award26 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRoy Maconachie (Supervisor)


  • Youth, Migration, Artisanal and Small-scale Mining, Gold, Conflict

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