CDD-Ghana advocates for increase in mineral royalties to mining districts

By Sampson Manu || Obuasi Municipal, ISD II Contributor
Regional News CDD-Ghana advocates for increase in mineral royalties to mining districts

The Center for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has joined the call for a significant increase in the mineral royalties allocated to mining districts, highlighting the persistent underdevelopment of these resource-rich communities.

Despite Ghana's extensive history of mineral wealth, the communities that produce these resources continue to lag in development. Emmanuel Yeboah, a research analyst with CDD-Ghana, emphasized that the current allocation of mineral royalties to mining communities is woefully inadequate, contributing to the developmental gap in these districts.

Mr. Yeboah pointed out that the late disbursement of funds exacerbates the issue. Currently, only 20% of the funds are transferred into a designated Mineral Development Fund account for the districts, with merely 10% reaching the assemblies while the other 10% is allocated to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands. He stressed that this amount is insufficient to facilitate any meaningful development within these assemblies.

Speaking at a stakeholders' meeting in Obuasi to present CDD's report on the Mining District Development Scorecard (MDDS), Yeboah appealed to the government, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other key stakeholders to consider increasing the percentage of mineral royalties allocated to these districts to bridge the development gap.

Obuasi Scores Below MDDS Overall Score

The Obuasi Municipal Assembly ranked 6th in the latest 2023 MDDS league table, scoring 35.4 out of 100 points according to the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development. This score is below the MDDS overall score of 38.4 points, indicating 'weak' governance practices in the municipality's management and utilization of mineral royalties.

The MDDS, an initiative of CDD-Ghana with support from the Ford Foundation, tracks the usage of mineral revenue in mining districts to promote transparency, accountability, and improve social and human development outcomes. The long-term goal of the project is to empower and strengthen community participation in natural resource governance and management for better development at the sub-national level in Ghana.

Obuasi's score was only better than those of Asutifi North District and Prestea-Huni Valley Municipal. The district performed poorly in two major MDDS component areas: local management committee effectiveness and mineral development fund utilization efficiency. Across all five major components of the MDDS, Obuasi scored 'very good' in ten out of twelve subcomponents assessed using administrative data sources prepared by the Assembly.

CDD's research identified weak fiscal transparency as one of the main challenges facing the Assembly and the local mining committee.

LMC to Step Up Public Education
Dr. Amina Achiaa Asiedu Amoah, Chairperson of the Local Mining Committee (LMC) of the Obuasi Municipality, assured that the committee will intensify its efforts to raise awareness and disseminate information on its activities. She echoed calls for an increase in mineral royalties to speed up development in mining communities and finance the LMC’s public outreach programs.

Ali Tanti Robert, Executive Director of the Center for Social Impact Studies (CESIS), also urged the Obuasi Municipal Assembly to enhance its public engagement campaigns to provide transparency and accountability regarding the utilization of mineral royalties.

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