A shared long-term vision for ASM

Diverse stakeholders from across the world of gold mining share a long-term vision of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) as a functional business sector.

Employees work deep within a tunnel at the Nsangano Gold Mine, Mawemeru village in Geita District, Tanzania (Photo: copyright Brian Sokol/Panos Pictures)

This morning (29 April), representatives from donors, industry, ASM, government and civil society gathered for the start of a two-day 'visioning workshop' to explore routes to a more inclusive and responsible gold mining sector.

Over the two days, participants at the workshop will begin shaping an agenda for a series of in-country, multi-stakeholder dialogues to transform the ASM sector around the world. And among the first things they discussed was their vision of that transformation. 

There were lots of ideas in the room — particularly when it came to suggesting short-term wins that could be achieved within just 12 months.

But when it came to describing long-term transformation — over ten years or more — participants were surprisingly united in their vision: "ASM needs to operate as a functional business sector".

What does that mean? As the participants explained, a functional ASM business sector is one that is:

A wordcloud based on the views of participants in an ASM visioning workshop

The real question now is: how do we get from where we are now to where we all agree we want to be in ten years' time?

Hopefully the discussion over the two days will provide some answers to that — watch this space to find out.

Sian Lewis (sian.lewis@iied.org) is staff writer at IIED.