A three-day training for national executives of the Citizens Committee Network (CiCoNet) is underway in Asiakwa in the Abuakwa South Municipality to keep CiCoNet members abreast of Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act (Act 703 as amended).

The training, referred to as Legal Learning Workshop, is being organised upon the request of the of CiCoNet to sharpen the group’s advocacy skills on laws about mining, land and general understanding of Ghana’s constitution.

Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA), a non-profit-making organization, which helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractive projects to take control of their futures, is facilitating this training through its Legal Office and the Community-Driven Development Department.

This is to enable CiCoNet to embark on its planned nationwide advocacy on the fundamental human rights of mining communities, among others.

ACA’s Legal Team led by Lalla Toure welcomed the participants to the workshop and expressed the hope that they would be in the right position to embark on their planned advocacy on land and mining related issues at the end of their training.

The team said all mineral resources are vested in the government in trust of the citizenry, adding that every land has an owner whose rights cannot be infringed upon by anyone and explained the differences between customary law and common law to the participants.

The ACA Legal Team took the participants through various processes involved in land acquisition for mining or other purposes by the state.

Some topics being covered during the three-day training program, which will end tomorrow Friday May 17, 2024, include land leasing process, compensation, land reclamation as well as land rent and land sale.

“This training is very timely and I believe strongly that at the end of the training, participants will properly understand what the law says about the processes involved in the acquisition of land for mining activities and the role of each party in the acquisition of land for mining activities (land renters, land owners, chiefs and mining companies)”, Nana Ama Nketia-Quaidoo, the Director for Community-Driven Development, said in on the sidelines of the workshop.

She was also hopeful that they will have a better appreciation of what the law says about the conversion of waste land created by the mining companies into land suitable for use of habitation or cultivation.

About CiCoNet

The Citizens’ Committee Network (CiCoNet) is an interface group of concerned citizens who help protect their communities’ development vision.  CiCoNet members are trained to speak with government officials and other stakeholders on behalf of their communities, raising concerns in ways that allow local authorities to help resolve key community concerns.

Through CiCoNet, our communities have won key victories, such as prompting the suspension of a highly polluting mining company’s operating permit and inducing companies to fill abandoned pits that endangered the welfare of children and livestock.