Can microcredit services alleviate hardship in African small-scale mining communities?

Gavin Hilson*, Abigail Ackah-Baidoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper critically examines the challenges with implementing microcredit services for small-scale mine operators-individuals engaged in labor-intensive mineral extraction and/or processing using low-tech methods-in sub-Saharan Africa. The region's policymakers have shied away from launching microcredit programs for small-scale mining, frustrated by the disappointing results of the past and unsure about how to proceed with implementation. Recent efforts to provide microcredit services for operators in Talensi-Nabdam District, Northern Ghana, however, illustrate how with a renewed level of commitment and the development of blueprints which adequately address the appropriate criteria, fairly robust schemes can be launched.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1203
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Development
Issue number7
Early online date15 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • Microcredit
  • Poverty
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


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