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Farming, small-scale mining and rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: A critical overview

Hilson, GM (2016) Farming, small-scale mining and rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: A critical overview Extractive Industries and Society, 3 (2). pp. 547-563.

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This paper reviews the literature on the linkages between subsistence agriculture and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)—low-tech mineral extraction and processing—in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses specifically on the economic impact of this symbiosis on the region’s rural households and the policy treatment of this very important phenomenon. As ASM has long been perceived as a nuisance, and a sector populated mostly by rogue entrepreneurs and therefore not seen to be particularly integral to regional economic development and poverty alleviation plans/strategies, donors and policymakers have, understandably, been reluctant to embrace this idea completely. The review seeks to stimulate a critical ‘rethink’ of ASM in Sub-Saharan Africa: the alleviation of poverty in rural Sub-Saharan Africa could hinge on recognizing and strengthening the bonds between the sector’s activities and subsistence farming. For this to happen, however, a radical change in policy ‘mind-set’ is needed. This is a necessary first step toward facilitating the overhaul of a policy and regulatory framework that, to date, has stifled the legalization of ASM in Sub-Saharan Africa, and which has consequently confined the sector’s activities to informal ‘spaces’.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : subj_Sustainability
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Hilson, GM
Date : 1 May 2016
DOI : 10.1016/j.exis.2016.02.003
Uncontrolled Keywords : Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM); Subsistence farming; Livelihoods; Sub-Saharan Africa
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:30
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 12:53

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