The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has launched a research report that exposes critical gender gaps in allocation of resources, utilization and benefits in mining communities in Ghana.
The report, which is titled, “Promoting gender budgeting: the case of Mineral royalty utilization in Ghana,” seeks to underscore the need to relook at how mineral revenue is allocated because of the need to promote the welfare of women in mining communities.
In an opening remark before the launch of the report which was done via Zoom, the Executive Director of ACEP, Mr. Benjamin Boakye, said the essence of the report was to recognize that mining created impact and that the impact tended to be varied, “And in Ghana…, based on socio-cultural issues, women tend to suffer more than men.”
“So, we set out to understand what the nature of the problem is and how, together as stakeholders, we can ensure that, in spending from the outcome of the extraction of resources, we can meet some of the needs of women and resolve some of the challenges that they are faced with in the extraction process,” Mr. Boakye informed.
The West Africa Regional Manager (Anglophone) for Natural Resource Governance Institute, Ms. Nafi Chinery, said mineral royalties were important sources of revenue for sub-national governments in affected mining communities, therefore, decisions around their allocation, transparency in their disbursement, representation and participation around their implementation were critical steps at ensuring equal benefits of development processes in these communities.
“If these processes are engendered, we could be working towards addressing some of the structural and systematic inequalities that exist around access, participation and utilisation of productive resources in many mining communities across the country,” she added.
Ms. Chinery said, the report was important because it created an intersection between macro and micro level policy work, highlighted the gender gaps in the legal framework for results governance, highlighted gaps in implementation and coordination of some existing policies and frameworks, and suggested the incorporation and implementation of gender sensitive budgeting in the extractive sector.
She indicated that if Ghana did not take steps to rectify some of the gaps, the nation “would be entrenching the systematic and structural gender inequality in our mining communities.”
Ms. Chinery hoped that, as the nation pursued resource-backed loans and in the Ghana Government’s recent attempt to raise capital in difficult times, and leverage the County’s Gold royalties for development, the framework for allocation and utilization of revenues would be guided by gender differential issues that existed in mining communities.
The Country Director, Oxfam, Ghana, Mr. Tijani Ahmed Hamza, in a statement before launching the report, observed that Oxfam participated in the research because “we believe one of the challenges of the 21st century is how to deal with the challenges of gender inequality.”
Mr. Hamza said even though statistics about gender disparity in Ghana was not good, there was the potential to address gender inequality, “And this includes ensuring that human right abuses are addressed in the extractive value chain and also that the revenues and opportunities from the sector are equally distributed for all, especially minority groups.”
In that regard, Mr. Hamza indicated that the report was another wake-up call for Ghana to begin to rethink the existing laws and policies and how they had not been forthcoming in addressing the core needs of the vulnerable.
A Policy Analyst for ACEP, Mr. Charles Gyamfi Ofori, in a presentation on the report before the launch, recommended a criterion for gender-responsive budgeting for fund administrators (district assemblies and the Local Management Committee (LMC)) to ensure that royalty use was informed by evidence-based gender-sensitive development planning and budgeting.
It was recommended that revolving funds be created to address the specific economic needs of women in agriculture and trade, among others.
ACEP is an Accra-based organization, which provides policy alternatives on energy sector issues through evidence-based research, advocacy training, and advisory services.
This research was conducted in collaboration with Oxfam, an international Not-for-Profit organization focusing on total alleviation of poverty, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, as well as institutions and individuals in three District Assemblies in Ghana.