Using the information shared in the local dialogues, the July 2016 roundtable provided a forum for representatives from the four regions to voice concerns and issues at a national level. It also represent-ed an important opportunity for different communities, government stakeholders and mining, oil and gas companies to connect and share lessons learned and best practices. To provide a more national-level perspective, were stakeholders from the Government of Ghana including the Petroleum Commission, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Ghana Army, Navy and Police, and Ministry of the Interior.
On the 28th July, 2016 the Fund For Peace (FFP) in partnership with the West Africa Network for Peace Building-Ghana (WANEP-Ghana), staged the first national VPs Roundtable in Accra. Staged as part of a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, this roundtable follows a series of local trainings and dialogues in four regions in Ghana over the past 12 months. The national event included representatives from four community areas affected by oil, gas and mining operations, including the Asutifi District in the Brong-Ahafo region, Adansi West District in the Ashanti region, the Talensi District in the Upper East region and six coastal Districts in the Western region.
FFP and WANEP-Ghana delivered local dialogues to discuss VPs-related issues in mining, and oil/gas affected communities. A total of 73 participants took part across the four regions including the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Navy, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), traditional leadership, companies, local media (Ghana News Agency), the District/Metropolitan Assembly, Ghana National Petroleum Commission, private security providers, and religious bodies.
The first local dialogue was held on February 22 in Bolgatanga, Upper East region. The dialogue, led by WANEP-Ghana, was attended by stakeholders including the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Traditional leadership, the Shanxii Mining Company, small scale mining groups, the Talensi and Nabdam District Assemblies, the local media (Ghana News Agency) and the Lands Commission.
In December 2015, FFP and WANEP-Ghana delivered local training workshops in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, and Takoradi, Western Region. Both trainings focused on sensitizing the VPs initiative and guidelines, as well as introducing ways to mitigate conflict through available grievance mechanisms, and promoting peacebuilding and conflict early warning in communities. Twelve participants were attended each of the full day courses co-presented by WANEP-Ghana and FFP.
With the government of Ghana announcing in 2014 that it would sign onto the VPs initiative as the first African nation to do so, it is now in the stages developing a VPs National Action Plan. Working with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Democracy, Rights and Labor, The Fund For Peace (FFP) in partnership with the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP-Ghana), will lead a program which supports these VPs implementation efforts across Ghana.