The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), with support from Ford Foundation, has initiated the ‘Mining Districts Development Scorecard’ (MDDS) project to track the usage of mineral revenues in mining Districts in the country.
The MDDS project seeks to track the transfer and use of mining revenues in mining districts to promote transparency and accountability and improve social and human development outcomes. The project’s long-term goal is to empower and strengthen community participation in natural resource governance and management for better development outcomes at the sub-national level in Ghana.
The MDDS project is being implemented in eight mining districts across six regions of Ghana. The Districts include; Tarkwa Nsuaem, Prestea Huni-Valley, and Wassa East/Mpohor in the Western Region; Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai in the Western North Region; Birim North in the Eastern Region; Obuasi in the Ashanti Region; Asutifi North in the Ahafo Region; and Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region.
These Districts were carefully selected based on the quantum of mining resources they receive; and their socio-economic outlook using the District League Table (DLT) scores and poverty scores from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS). Another indicator for selection was the presence of social accountability-demanding groups such as the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSO) that can use the information generated from the project for advocacy engagements.
The two-year project will be executed in three phases. The first phase, “the preparatory stage,” which is currently underway, has seen fruitful engagements with key stakeholders who have been entrusted and mandated to manage mineral resources and revenues. They include State institutions such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Office of Local Government Service, and the Minerals Commission.
The meetings sought to secure their support and partnership for the implementation of the project. The Center is scheduled to also meet with the Minerals Development Fund Administrator, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Administrator of Stool Lands, the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Civil Society Organizations, and Community Based Organizations focused on the extractive sector. The project’s first phase will also include a scoping visit to the selected districts to identify key issues and actors for the project.
The second phase will focus on data collection within the eight Districts. This is to assess how much mineral revenues they receive, how much of it is being used, what the funds are being used for, and if they respond to the social development needs of the communities. The information gathered will be used to rank the eight Districts to determine the best performing mining District in resource governance management.
The third phase will see the launch of the report at the national level to be followed by community engagements within the eight selected Districts to activate community interest and oversight over the management and usage of mineral revenues allocated to them and also to uptake specific recommendations from the report after its national release.
According to Mr. Awal Mohammed, a Senior Research Analyst and Team lead, Social Accountability & SDGs Programming at CDD-Ghana, the project’s end goal is to solve the problem of transparency in the management of the revenues received from mineral revenues.
“There are some Districts which do not have mineral resources but they perform better than some of these mining Districts. Every District receives money from the Common Fund and the District Development Fund, while these mining Districts receive additional resources from mineral revenues, they still perform poorly in terms of development, and the DLT including other socio-economic indicators verify this,” he said.
“If we have transparent and accountable institutions managing these resources, they would be used effectively to respond to the socio-economic needs of the people to bring about the needed development,” he added.