Youth in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and higher education nexus: Diffusion of innovations and knowledge transfer

Francis ARTHUR-HOLMES*, Thomas YEBOAH, Isaac Joseph COBBINAH, Kwaku Abrefa BUSIA

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Research literature has underscored the growing engagement of youth in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). However, no published study has explicitly investigated the symbiotic exchanges on how youth in ASM transfer acquired knowledge and practical skills to educational settings and how they in turn transfer their acquired knowledge in higher education institutions to the ASM sector. Based on our inquiry in Ghana, involvement of educated youth in ASM had resulted in a) diffusion of innovations to the ASM sector, b) skills/knowledge transfer on mineral processing, c) knowledge transfer on health and safety in mining, d) provision of equipment repair and maintenance services, and e) transfer of legal knowledge and processes to the sector. With the transfer of mining-related experiences to educational settings, three sub-themes emerged: f) sharing of ASM experience and knowledge with peers and tutors, g) experiential learning and practical understanding of theoretical concepts, and h) enhanced higher education-ASM industry synergies. In relation to these findings, we argue that the future of the ASM sector in Ghana and broadly sub-Saharan Africa concerning cleaner production and environmentally safe mining practices, to a greater degree, relies on educated youth who hold enormous promise to champion innovation and knowledge transfer to the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103201
Early online date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • Cleaner production
  • Diffusion of innovations
  • Educated youth
  • Higher education
  • Knowledge transfer


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