Ghana: Delays in Disbursement of Funds Undermine the Work of Minerals Dev’t Fund

Ghana cedi notes

Accra, Ghana, May 16, 2019//-Perennial delays in the disbursement of the 20% mining royalty to the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) have undermined the work of the fund and its newly constituted board.

This came to light at the second National Conference on the MDF Act 912 held in Accra on Wednesday 15, May 2019.

Emmanuel Kuyole, the Executive Director of Centre for Extractives and Development, Africa (CEDA), a leading extractive and development NGO, noted that the continuous holding of the funds meant to address the harmful effects of mining in the host communities does august well for the socio-economic development of the mining areas.

He added that no regulations, and the delays and no disbursement syndrome which characterized the MDF since the promulgation of the Act 912 were yet to go away.

Mr Kuyole noted that although the objectives for the establishment of the MDF were well intended, evidence from mining enclaves such as Obuasi, Tarkwa, Prestea, Akwatia, Bogoso among others shows the objectives were yet to be realized.

In 2016, Parliament passed the Mineral Development Law; Act (Act 912) in an attempt to regulate mineral royalties.

The MDF Act aims to prioritize financial resources for the direct benefit of mining communities by setting aside a proportion of royalties for local development projects specifically in mining host communities.

The Act streamlines and expedites allocation of mineral funds to improve infrastructure development in mining host communities and establishes for the first time, the Mining Community Development Scheme to directly sponsor socio-economic development in communities in which mining operations takes place or which are affected by mining activities with 20% mineral royalty allocation.

Opening the conference, Benito Owusu Bio, Deputy Minister for Land and Natural Resources, was confident that the challenges confronting mining communities would be addressed following the recent constitution of the MDF Board.

Madam Emelia Ayipio Asamoah, Country Director of World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Ghana, a local chapter of the Canadian NGO which is dedicated to providing education, employment and empowerment opportunities for youth around the world, said her outfit was poised at improving sustainable economic growth in the mining communities and other parts of Ghana.

The conference was organized by the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Areas (WAGES) Project, in partnership with the Centre for Extractives and Development, Africa (CEDA), the Star Ghana Foundation, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and MDF Secretariat.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

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