Artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture. Exploring their links in rural sub-Saharan Africa
In sub-Saharan Africa, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) employs tens of millions of people directly. Most of the region’s ASM activities are informal because registration is often costly and bureaucratic. The resulting illegality, along with the sector’s numerous social ills and environmental impacts, has overshadowed its importance, in particular how many subsistence farmers now rely on ASM for their disposable incomes. This paper explores the links and symbiosis between ASM and subsistence farming in sub-Saharan Africa, and suggests ways in which to harness more effectively the former’s ‘livelihoods’ dimension in policy.