Transparency International Ghana's chapter launches initiative to curb corruption in mining approvals
Author: Business Ghana (Ghana) , Published on: 27 May 2019
‘Ghana Integrity Initiative launches Mining for Sustainable Development programme’ 15 May 2019
Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International has launched the Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) programme. The Programme, which is being coordinated by Transparency International Secretariat through Transparency International Australia, is being implemented in Ghana by GII. It seeks to address where and how corruption could get a foothold in the mining approval process – that is combating corruption before ground is even broken.Under Phase one of the project, which was launched 2016, national chapters from 20 resource-rich countries conducted risk assessments to understand the nature and source of corruption risks in mining approval processes. The Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) Tool was developed specifically to conduct these assessments.
While under Phase two, in which Ghana is participating, national chapters of 20 countries would develop and implement action plans to prevent corruption risks identified in Phase I. They would work with key stakeholders – government, civil society, local communities, and the mining industry -as part of a global strategy to build trust, improve transparency, and influence behaviour change in the mining sector. The programme would advocate for the improvement of national and international policy and practice, and the strengthening of existing mining transparency initiatives and standards. Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, GII...said it was acknowledged that globally the extractive sector could be a source of livelihood for local people, supports regional development, and helps to boost national economies.
He said the project was also an opportunity to strengthen democratic governance in a major economic area like the mining sector. Dr Abdulai Darimani, Research Consultant of the Project, said licensing was one of the areas in which risks and vulnerabilities for corruption in the mining value-chain occur. "Eliminating the risks and vulnerabilities is an important part of effort towards enhancing the contribution of mining to the national economy," he said. Mr Jacob Ahuno, Programmes Officer of the M4SD programme, said the goal of the project was to ensure that decisions about approving mining projects benefit the public, were free of corruption and promote sustainable development. Dr Steven Manteaw, Co-Chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, said with regards to contracts, the corruption in the mining sector was more about the negotiation of the fiscal terms as against the abuse of the processes.