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Implementing the Ahafo Benefit Agreements: Seeking Meaningful Community Participation at Newmont’s Ahafo Gold Mine in Ghana

Boakye, Benjamin; Cascadden, Maggie; Kuschminder, Jordon; Szoke-Burke, Sam; Werker, Eric

In 2008, ten communities in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana entered into agreements with Newmont Ghana to govern company-community relations, ensure local job creation, and share the benefits of the company’s mining operations. Ten years later, this report, co-authored by Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), CCSI, and ISP, looks at the communities’ experience of those agreements and suggests how the agreements might be improved. Though the agreements were celebrated for their attempts to include all stakeholders in decision-making, challenges remain around representation, consultation, and participation. New entities established to facilitate multi-stakeholder decision-making have led to the replication of existing power imbalances. And despite many improvements, the agreements have not fully stabilized company-community relations; tensions and grievances remain concerning employment, compensation, and resettlement, among other issues. The report makes research-informed recommendations for the communities, Newmont Ghana, and other stakeholders in the lead-up to the renegotiation of the agreements.

While the negotiation of benefit agreements (sometimes called “Community Development Agreements”) have been the subject of wide-ranging research, academic literature on agreement implementation is still relatively sparse, and tends to focus on cases in Australia and Canada, with little information available from cases in low- or middle-income countries. This report therefore seeks to contribute to filling this gap, alongside other studies mentioned in the report.

The report was published on July 25, 2018. On that day, ACEP presented the report and a Twi-translation of the executive summary to representatives and opinion leaders from the communities. ACEP also led a workshop both on the report and on benefit agreements more generally.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
July 17, 2020

Notes

View a Twi translation of the executive summary of this report at https://doi.org/10.7916/d8-kxay-mg95