Maame Esi Eshun is a Research Associate at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). Her focus is on the implementation and coordination of the research and analytical work stream of the Extractive Resource Service (ERS) Program. She also serves as the ERS focal person on research and case studies carried out by third parties on behalf of the ERS. Ms. Eshun holds an M.Phil. degree in Economics and a B.A. degree in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

She is a Southern Voices Network Scholar at the Wilson Center.

Project Summary

The artisanal and small-scale mining sector is an important source of income and livelihood for millions of Africans. This sector, accompanied by social, economic, political, and environmental consequences, is often associated with women. In an attempt to reap the riches of the earth to make a living, women take employment in often-dangerous working conditions fraught with violence and conflict. Women artisanal miners are discriminated against, not considered in the core operational decision-making of the mines, and lack opportunities for business expansion and to gain technical know-how. Failure to address these challenges and allow women to fully explore the opportunities available to them in artisanal mining risks perpetuating inequalities and deepening grievances linked to natural resource rights and access and control, which have proven to be powerful catalysts for violence. In addition, the structure of the sector and conditions of work can discourage women from taking up leadership roles in the mining sector thereby reducing efforts towards their empowerment and their contribution towards peacebuilding. In the existing literature on the empowerment of women towards peacebuilding, the programs, peacebuilding initiatives, and due diligence guidelines on the empowerment of women artisanal miners toward peacebuilding remain largely untouched. Thus the question of interest is, how do we capitalize on the role and contributions of women artisanal miners and empower them toward peacebuilding? This research documents how women involved in artisanal mining can be empowered to contribute towards peacebuilding efforts by rationalizing their participation in the sector, and identifying and discussing how the opportunities and contribution of women artisanal miners can be used to enhance their engagement and empowerment in peacebuilding processes.

Major Publications

The Financial Determinants of Private Investment in Ghana, 2014 (with G. Adu, and E. Buabeng) International Journal of Financial Economics.

A Review of the Trends in Ghana's Power Sector, 2016 (with Amoako-Tuffour, Joe), Energy, Sustainability and Society.