Mining District Scorecard ranks Wassa East third in Ghana

By Kwabena Danso || Wassa East ISD II Contributor
Regional News Mr. Evans Mark Andoh - Wassa East District Coordinating Director
Mr. Evans Mark Andoh - Wassa East District Coordinating Director

A new report has ranked the Wassa East District third among mining districts in Ghana in terms of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation in the management and utilization of mineral royalties.

The 2023 Mining District Development Scorecard (MDDS) assessment, conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), evaluated eight mining districts across the country. Wassa East scored 41 out of 100 points, exceeding the overall MDDS average score of 38.4.

"Although the district's performance score is above average, governance practices in the management and utilization of mineral royalties are still weak," said Mr. Mohammed Awal, a senior research analyst at CDD-Ghana, at a stakeholder meeting in Daboase.

The MDDS assesses districts' fiscal transparency, citizen participation, local government effectiveness, and the effectiveness of Local Management Committees (LMCs) responsible for overseeing the 40% of mineral royalties allocated to mining communities.

Wassa East scored well in fiscal transparency (57.5 out of 100) and citizen participation (50.7 out of 100), but received a "weak" score of 42.4 on local government effectiveness and a "poor" score of 30.1 on LMC effectiveness.

"Across all the assessment components, the district scored 'very good' based on administrative data, but 'poor' in 9 out of 10 sub-components evaluated through community informant surveys," Awal explained.

The report recommends that the District Assembly and LMC increase opportunities for meaningful citizen participation, institute mechanisms to promote transparency and accountability, and conduct awareness campaigns to educate communities on the utilization of mineral royalties.

Wassa East District Coordinating Director, Mr. Evans Mark Andoh, acknowledged the findings and pledged to work towards improving the district's performance in future assessments.

LMC Chairman Mr. Wilson Arthur noted that while resources for community engagement are limited, the committee will explore ways to better reach out to the public and incorporate their ideas, especially regarding investment of mineral development funds.

The MDDS is part of an effort by CDD-Ghana to enhance transparency and accountability in the management of mineral wealth at the local level, with the goal of driving more inclusive and sustainable development in mining communities.

The eight mining districts assessed, in order of rank are Birim North District, Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal, Wassa East District, Upper Denkyira West District, Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai Municipal, Obuase Municipal, Asutifi North District and Prestea Huni- Valley Municipal.