A 3-day workshop with explosive companies and dealers following the 2021 assessment exercise on the operations of commercial explosive companies, dealers, transporters, and users in Ghana has begun at the Volta Hotel, Akosombo.

The workshop is aimed at sensitizing the various stakeholders on the GAPs identified during the assessment, enhance capacity of the stakeholders on documentation, storage, record keeping and handling of explosives.

It is also aimed at bringing the stakeholders up to speed with the International Best Practices and initiate discussions among the stakeholders to propose possible practicable solutions to the GAPs identified.

A representative from the Ministry of the Interior, Amina King, in her welcoming remarks stated that the import and export of explosives are key components in the explosive business and indicated the importance of ensuring that these explosives get to their rightful destinations by tracing diverted explosives and maintaining proper reporting systems.

She also called on the stakeholders to ensure that the systems that have been put in place work effectively to prevent the diversion of weapons and explosives in the wrong hands.

Deputy Director In charge of the Programs at the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Mr. Johnson Asante-Twum, also gave the opening remarks on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the Small Arms Commission, Mad. Afi A. Yakubu. He expressed his concern over the scourge of illegal mining, popularly known in our local parlance as “galamsey” which has increased demand for commercial explosives albeit for this illegal activity.

He also indicated that the violent extremists’ activities in the Sahel Region and their insatiable demand for commercial explosives to carry out their terrorist attacks on crucial state installations and to take away human lives should guide the sales and transfer decisions of commercial explosives.

The workshop will offer the opportunity for the regulators and industry stakeholders to dialogue on the pertinent issues surrounding safety and effective management of commercial explosives including management of commercial explosives including their storage, transportation, and handling both on and off site.

A representative from the Minerals Commission, Desmond Boahen, on the first day of the workshop took the participants through the Overview of Storage of Commercial Explosives in Ghana.

The workshop is organized by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) in partnership with the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons and with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)

The workshop is scheduled to take place from 27th to 30th September 2022.