The Citizens Committee Network (CiCoNet), an interface group of concerned citizens who help protect their communities’ development vision, is calling for the allocation of 20% of proceeds into the Minerals Development Fund to be disbursed to mining communities.

This proposed allocation, according to CiCoNet, is to be used for sustainable development projects chosen by each mining community under the supervision of the managers of the Fund.

CiCoNet believes that this will ensure fair and equitable use of proceeds into the Fund under the Minerals Development Fund Act, 2016, Act 912.

This was one of the advocacy action plans agreed upon at a three-day training session for the nine-member national executives held at Asiakwa near Kyebi in the Eastern region of Ghana.

Code-named “Legal Learning Workshop”, the training session was 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 organisation, which helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractive projects to take control of their futures, facilitated the training through its Legal Office and the Community-Driven Development Department.

The CiCoNet national executives noted that after nearly ten years of the setting up of the Minerals Development Fund, very little can be shown for it as most mining communities which are bearing the brunt of the devastating effects of mining operations can barely boast of any development project executed under the Fund.

The group believes that if the communities are directly involved in the usage of their share of the Fund, it will go a long way to engender communalism and cost-effectiveness in the execution of sustainable development projects in their respective areas.

Paul Uthan, National Secretary of CiCoNet, in an interview after the training, said the Minerals Development Fund, created by the Minerals Development Fund ACT, 2016 Act 912 to provide financial resources for the direct benefit of mining communities, among others, must be judiciously used to inure to the benefit of the intended beneficiaries.

“We are therefore going to create a lot of awareness about this Fund and push for the 20% allocation to mining communities”, he further said.

The National President of CiCoNet, Emmanuel Antwi, disclosed that the group will also be advocating the need for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to be well-resourced to effectively carry out its functions as mandated by law.

“This training has been very fruitful. It is in our plans as CiCoNet to educate our community members about their fundamental human rights, so our main aim is to ensure community development. In this regard, we, as CiCoNet executives, need to be well equipped with the legal aspects of what we intend doing so we came for the workshop to keep ourselves abreast of the rights of people living in communities threatened by mining activities”, he explained.

From here we’re setting the ball rolling by sharing the knowledge gained here with all CiCoNet members and going down to the communities to educate community members on their rights under the country’s legal regime on mining.


The Citizens Committee Network (CiCoNet), 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, some communities have won key victories, such as prompting the suspension of a highly polluting mining company’s operating permit and inducing companies to fill over 40 abandoned pits that endangered the welfare of children and livestock in places such as Juaso and Nsuapemso in the Eastern region of Ghana.