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Ghana VPs Report: National Roundtable, February 2017

cover-201011705-ghavavpsnrtThe third National Dialogue on Security and Human Rights in Ghana was held on the 22nd February 2017 in Accra, bringing together companies, civil society, and government. The dialogue took place as part of the Fund For Peace (FFP) and the West Africa Network for Peace Building, Ghana (WANEP-Ghana) program focused on supporting Ghana’s implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs). The 30-month program commenced in July 2015, and is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Democracy, Rights and Labor.

The program goal is to foster a more permissive and accepting environment for security and human rights implementation projects in Ghana. This is being done through a series of local training workshops and dialogues in the target areas where there are oil/gas or mining operations in the Upper East Region (Gbani near Bolgatanga), Western Region (Takoradi and Tarkwa), Volta Region (Keta), Brong-Ahafo Region (Kenyasi), and Ashanti Region (Obuasi). These local activities have been feeding into an established national-level forum, which have so far been held in July and October 2016, and most recently, on 22nd February 2017. In attendance at this third National Dialogue were representatives from key Ghana Government ministries including the Ghana Army and Navy, Ministry of the Interior, Petroleum Commission, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Minerals Commission, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Private sector representatives included the Ghana Chamber of Mines, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont Mining, Kosmos Energy, ENI Ghana, Tullow, and G4S. Civil society was represented by WANEP-Ghana, as well as the WANEP regional office, along with FFP and the media. International partners in attendance included the U.S., Australian, Canadian, Dutch, and Swiss governments.



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Ghana VPs Update: January-March 2017

cover-201011705-ghavavpsupdateSince July 2015, our program has focused on building the awareness and capacity of civil society — this has included developing pilot programs in four regions, to facilitate training, then dialogue that encourages constructive engagement between local government, communities, and companies. The activities are aimed at helping local stakeholders address grievances transparently, and ensure public and private security forces are acting responsibly and proportionately. With the program now extended into a Phase 2 from January 2017 to January 2018, we will seek to expand these activities into two new target areas.

Equipping local stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to monitor issues relating to security and human rights, as well as helping them to identify conflict drivers related to extractives, our program provides civil society with a platform to better mitigate violence and potential for security force abuses in communities. This will continue to feed into national level multi-stakeholder roundtables, designed to establish a practical working group of stakeholders to further VPs implementation across Ghana.

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Ghana VPs Report: National Roundtable, October 2016

cover-201011701-ghanavpsnrtBuilding upon the first national dialogue  staged in July 2016, stakeholders from the Ghana government, companies and civil society groups came together to discuss key issues related to security and human rights in and around large project sites on 20th October 2016. Drawing upon identified issues from the regions and shared learning, the dialogue focused on how security and human rights can be addressed by government agencies, companies, civil society and media through  a coordinated approach. This included a review of the Ghana Government’s plans for  the implementation of their National Action Plan on the VPs, and how all government ministries, civil society and companies alike can help to move the process forward.

Representatives at the event included companies from the oil/gas and mining sector; Eni Ghana, Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti,  Kosmos Energy, and the Ghana Chamber of Mines. From the government side, attendees included the Ministry of Lands and  Natural Resources, the Ghana Armed Forces, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Representatives from other signatory countries of the VPs  International Initiative were also in attendance from the U.S. Embassy, Australian High Commission and Swiss Embassy.  The roundtable was coordinated by civil society organization representatives West Africa Network for Peacebuilding-Ghana (WANEP-Ghana) and the Fund For Peace (FFP), with attendance by the WANEP Regional Secretariat, and a media representative from the Ghana News Agency.

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Ghana VPs Update: July-September 2016

cover-201011610-ghanavpsupdateUsing 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.

The Roundtable included company representatives from the four regions including AngloGold Ashanti, Eni, Newmont, Shanxii Mining, and Tullow Oil, as well as the Ghana Chamber of Mines and private security provider G4S. Also in attendance were local leadership from youth, women and religious groups as well as WANEP and the Ghana News Agency. A total of 30 participants were involved at the event, which was staged at the Fiesta Hotel in Accra on July 28th, 2016.

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