The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), with support from the Ford Foundation, has initiated the Mining Districts Development Scorecard (MDDS) to track the usage of mineral revenues in mining districts in the country.
The Scorecard seeks to track the transfer and use of mining revenues to promote transparency and accountability and improve social and human development outcomes.
A statement issued by CDD-Ghana, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the project’s long-term goal was to empower and strengthen community participation in natural resource governance and management for better development outcomes at the sub-national level.
It said the MDDS project was being implemented in eight mining districts across six regions of Ghana.
These are 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.
It said those districts were carefully selected based on the quantum of mining resources they received and their socio-economic outlook using the District League Table (DLT) scores and poverty scores from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
The statement said another indicator for selection was the presence of social accountability-demanding groups such as the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that could use the information generated for advocacy engagements.
The two-year project would be executed in three phases.
“The first phase, ‘the preparatory stage,’ is currently underway, and has seen fruitful engagements with key stakeholders who had been entrusted and mandated to manage mineral resources and revenues,” it said.
These include state institutions like 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 statement said.
The Centre was 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, CSOs, and Community Based Organisations focused on the extractive sector.
The first phase would also include a scoping visit to the selected districts to identify key issues and actors for the project.
The second phase would focus on data collection within the eight districts to know how much mineral revenues they receive, how much was being used and for which purpose, if they respond to the social development needs of the communities.
The third phase would see the launch of the report at the national level to be followed by community engagements to activate interest and oversight over the management and usage of the mineral revenues.
Mr Awal Mohammed, a Senior Research Analyst and Team lead, Social Accountability and SDGs Programming at CDD-Ghana, said the project’s end goal was to solve the transparency issues in revenue management.
“There are some districts, which do not have mineral resources but they perform better than some of these mining districts,” he said.
“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.”
“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.”
With a mission to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance, and inclusive growth and development, CDD-Ghana works to support and promote a free, peaceful, and well-governed democracy in Ghana and other parts of Africa.