The Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), the group with oversight responsibility over the governance of Ghana’s natural resources sector, has bemoaned the seeming neglect by actors in the civil society space and Ghanaians in general.
According to the GHEITI, their reports which capture critical issues in the management of Ghana’s natural resources have not been receiving the expected attention from civil society and Ghanaians, in whose interest the issues discovered and recommended for fixing are to serve.
At a roundtable discussion organized by Friends of the Nation (FoN) in Accra with the GHEITI Multi-stakeholder Group, Madam Hannah Owusu Koranteng, the Executive Director of the Wassa Communities Affected by Mining [WACAM] and a member of the GHEITI poured out her frustrations from the seeming neglect, describing her time being with the GHIETI as a waste of time because, “it seems that when the reports are produced, apart from some of us who will be jumping around with it, nobody is interested”.
The Ghana GHEITI secretariat is manned by a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) who are representatives from the civil society, government and private sector institutions.
The group produces annual reports on the financial happenings in Ghana’s extractive sector.
Based on their findings in the reports that are gleaned from the Auditor General’s report, a number of recommendations are made, aimed at improving transparency and ensuring that Ghana makes the best out of its extractive resources.
“We would wish that as the GHEITI churns out a report yearly, civil society will run with it. Because many critical issues emanate from these reports. But if you have civil society disengaging in these processes, you leave it with government and the private sector to set the agenda… We expect civil society groups to run with the reports that are produced by PIAC and the GHEITI,” Allan Larsey of Tullow suggested.
According to Madam Hannah Owusu Koranteng, the lack of interest and support in the work of the MSG group is denying the country the critical conversation to be had on mining.
She said that “if you are a lone voice screaming that we want to expand the scope of the GHEITI to cover other areas other than financial disclosures in Ghana, trust that it will not go anywhere because we don’t have the support to push that agenda. Our agenda is not financial disclosure, but the decision to mine or not to mine.”