GGA West Africa held its end-of-year strategic stakeholder workshop at the Paragon (Osu-Accra) on Monday 9 November. The meeting was used to review two of our recent research projects on COVID -19, namely ‘How urban poverty impacted the implementation of safety protocols and government directive’ and “Gentrification and its impact on inclusive city development’.

The meeting was also used to discuss GGA-West Africa’s work going forward and the change in focus of the centre. We also raised the need for our partners to ensure our joint work only promotes credible and fact-based research and media reportage.

Present at the meeting were senior media reporters and editors as well as selected GGA researchers, partner CSOs and policymakers.

Upcoming GGA-WA events and activities



1. Survey on Election Related Violence and its Impact on National Security    Opinion Survey  Survey Report  July 2020  August 2020 
2. Community Involvement Plan for Natural Resource Development  Research   Mini Research Report  July 2020  August 2020 
3  Strengthening Inclusive Education  Research  Policy Brief & Research Report  June 2020  July 2020 
4. Small-scale Mining: changing the paradigm of Illegal Galamsey  Research  Policy Brief  June 2020  July 2020 
5. Building Sustainable Secondary Cities: the case of Ningo-Prampram District in Ghana  Research  Mini Research Report    July 2020 
6. Gentrification, Rent Control and Inclusive City Development  Research  Policy Brief & Research Report  September 2020  November 2020 


1. Survey on Election Related Violence and its Impact on National Security 


Ghana continues to enjoy the enviable reputation of being a stable democracy in the West African sub-region. Democratic governance in Ghana, particularly in the fourth republic, has seen steady progress and deepening owing to the successful transfer of political power from one civilian government to another. Over the years, all political actors have consented to the use of popular public elections to select the leaders of the country, specifically in selecting parliamentarians and the president.   

Ghana’s democratic credentials are not entirely violence free. There have been several reported cases of election violence in the country since 1993. However, Ghana has largely been successful in maintaining peace and stability due to the ability of the country to largely address concerns raised by sections of the electorate and political parties through dialogue.  

Notwithstanding the gains made over the decades in consolidating Ghana’s political governance and democracy, election-related violence threatens to erode the country’s hard-won reputation of being a stable democracy. Increasingly, agitations from political parties and their supporters during elections are resulting in disturbances, leading to loss of life and the destruction of property. A recent case in question was the Ayawaso West Wagon by-election, where supporters of the largest opposition political party in Ghana clashed with security personnel deployed to maintain peace and order during the exercise. In the end, there were reported cases of gun shots, with some supporters sustaining gun wounds. The president had to commission an enquiry into the incident with farreaching recommendations coming from the enquiry, which should guide the country’s future election processes.  

Fears of election violence have been elevated by reported cases of political parties forming vigilante groups with the aim of deploying these during future elections to protect their interests.  

Good Governance Africa (GGA), a notforprofit pan-African research and advocacy organisation committed to promoting good governance practices on the continent, recognises the efforts made by the various actors in trying to stem the canker of election-related violence in Ghana.  

The GGA West Africa centre believes that more should be done to address election-related violence in Ghana’s politics using the Bill and Code of Conduct on vigilantism as a basis. GGAWA believes that as 2020 general elections approach, there is the need for greater sensitisation on the subject of election-related violence.  

To support ongoing discussions and preparations towards the 2020 general elections in Ghana, GGA-WA has contracted Global Info Analytics Limited to carry out a public opinion survey on election-related violence and the threats it poses to the peace and stability of the entire nation.  

Objectives of the assignment 

The objective of this assignment is to: 

  • Assess the degree of concern amongst the voting population concerning election-related violence in Ghana. 
  • Assess the potential impact the electorates’ perception of the likelihood of election-related violence could have on the upcoming general elections. 
  • Assess the perception of the population on the country’s preparedness to contain, address and guarantee safety before, during and after Ghana’s 2020 general elections.


2. Community Involvement Plan for Natural Resource Development 


In recent years, the natural resource development industry, including mining and oil/gas (development), have experienced greater public scrutiny and criticism for the environmental, social and economic trade-offs the industry makes in project development decisions. Typically, local stakeholders, including host communities, would oppose development due to perceived technical and socio-economic impacts. However, external stakeholders would offer strong support to project development due to anticipated economic benefits. The rise in social media has allowed host communities to amplify their concerns regarding the negative effects of development to the extent that local and national events become global onesOpposition by local stakeholders results in non-regulatory barriers to developments that have serious consequences for the proponent and the government (regulator).   

When a project loses its social licence to operate (i.e. community stakeholders’ acceptance and approvals of a project) it creates corporate reputational challenges for the proponent and the loss of public confidence and support of government’s decision making in approving the development. Recently, development proponents, with the support of regulators, have sought to seek legitimacy and good reputation through voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects to gain the social licence to operate. However, due to a lack of community involvement in identifying priorities, there are still major challenges with addressing the concerns of local communities. In most cases, the CSR practices come at the operation stage of the project development, while the host community’s immediate concerns, such as the impact the project will have on their environment and health as well as the socio-economic and potential offsite impact on soil and surface water quality, are left unaddressed. Where attempts are made to engage and consult with the local stakeholders, it is often inadequate and too late in the project development phase.  

Additionally, the regulatory body involvement in addressing local community concerns is slow and reactive. Typically, the regulator will be satisfied with conceptual design and mitigation commitments proposed by the proponent before issuing environmental permits (first government approval before mineral development commences). When opposition to the development becomes intense, regulators will request proponents to undertake additional and meaningful public engagement with local stakeholders. Further, the regulator will also make many repeated attempts to increase education and awareness of the technical sufficiency of the development.  Although the local population may have concerns that cannot be fully addressed through engagement and consultation or the proponent’s proposed mitigations, these inherent challenges associated with developments are avoidable when the local stakeholders’ concerns are addressed at the outset. Identifying the concerns of local stakeholders, and collaboration to find mutually acceptable solutions, is critical for timely government decision on project to meet the national development agenda. A meaningful community involvement would be achieved when fullcircle local stakeholders’ engagement and consultation is implemented. 

As a leading natural resource development nation, Ghana is commonly associated with the trend described above. Historically, local community stakeholders have opposed natural resource development, while local regulators have largely promoted its economic benefits. Recently, proponents have used CSR as a tool to gain social licence to operate in local communities. The CSR approach provides economic and infrastructure benefits to local stakeholders, but at the expense of their community governance empowerment capabilities with the result that there is continuous local opposition. Considering the recent and ongoing discoverof natural resources in Ghana, and in view of the public discourse about the expected bauxite mine development and recent oil field discoveries, it is timely to research ways to develop an optimal community involvement plan (CIP) model to promote responsible natural resource development. An optimal CIP would provide adequate opportunity for local residents to express their concerns during project development, monitoring of the project and enabling local government to ensure the needs of the community are met. 

Goal of the Research 

The goal of this research is to identify elements of an optimal CIP in natural resource development to promote timely, collaborative, acceptance and approvals of a project by community stakeholders. 

Objectives of the Research 

  • Identify public engagement and consultation best practices in the extractive industry that promotes mutual co-existence between stakeholders; 
  • Develop a community involvement plan model; 
  • Evaluate the current CSR practices and the related public engagement and consultation practices in the natural resource development industry of Ghana within the proposed model; and  
  • Identify and recommend an optimal community involvement plan model for the extractive industry of Ghana to promote sustainable development.  

Expected Output 

  • A report about elements of an effective community involvement model that accommodates local stakeholders concerns; and 
  • Identify phases in the natural resource development approval processes and non-regulatory steps that would provide regulators and proponents the social licence to operate in host community.   


3. Strengthening Inclusive Education 

Background/Goal of Study Research 

Ghana’s education system is considered to be one of the most progressive in Africa. In 2004, the government introduced free compulsory education for the first nine years of school for all Ghanaian childrenwith the initiative extended to 12 years in 2017. The UNESCO Global Monitoring Report on Education for All lists Ghana as one of the three top performing countries in the world for reducing out-of-school populations by at least 85% over the past five years1. Overall, the country is considered to be on track towards achieving universal access to primary education for both boys and girls.  

Special education, as a descriptive term, covers an array of possible conditions, ranging from learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder to autism and deafness, and on to severe intellectual and physical handicaps, many of which are, in turn, on continuums of their own. How can districts best serve this particular population of learners? The identification of children for special education services has long been associated with socio-economic levels and ethnicity, a problem that districts must be aware of and attempt to ameliorate since research shows that placement in special education can have long-term implications for children well into adulthood. Probably the most critical – and debated – question is that of inclusion. Some argue that inclusion is not the best option for some categories, while others envision a system of total inclusion in which all children are served in the regular classroom. Special education students have special needs, and how best to meet those needs in the general education setting is a challenge, one that research demonstrates not all teachers are able to meet. Problems with the gap between documented best practices and what actually occurs in the classroom are evident, as are issues with ability grouping, which can undermine some of the benefits such grouping provides. 

This research report takes a broad sweep at the special and inclusive education sector in Ghana’s education system and how GGA can effectively intervene in the sector. The paper is based on a desk study of available literature and research in the area of inclusive education. The paper looks at the Ghana Education Strategic Plan in terms of achievements within the sector and plans for inclusive education in country. It also reviews the literature on barriers to inclusive education in Ghana and other similar regions. Chapters three and four discuss inclusive education in the COVID19 era and the challenges children with special education needs face in these challenging times. The next two chapters discuss the literature and other studies on the concept of inclusion, the challenges to effective identification and the best practices in differentiated instruction. The paper also discusses GGAproposed interventions for implementation to address the gaps identified in the research.    

4. Small-Scale Mining: Changing the paradigm of Illegal “Galamsey 

Background/objective of Study 

Small-scale mining activities in Ghana date back more than 2,000 years, with evidence of gold mining as far back as the 7th and 8th centuries. It also accounts for the colonial name of the country, The Gold Coast. Ghana is presently the second-largest producer of gold in sub-Saharan Africa, only behind South Africa. However, this enviable position is bolstered by the returns from small-scale mining or galamsey. It is estimated that about 30% of Ghana’s total gold output is derived from the activities of an estimated one million small-scale miners, with most of them galamsey operators without any mining permits.

In Ghana, small-scale miners need a licence before they can operate. However, the majority of small-scale miners are operating in Ghana without any legal licence. The activity, which attracts several thousands of local Ghanaians, particularly the youth, promises a quicker means of earning an income than they would otherwise. However, in recent years and particularly in the past few months, the discourse of illegal small-scale miners in Ghana can be portrayed generally as highly negative and combative, focusing on the galamsey operators as lawless, irresponsibly destroying the environment and a security risk to the country.

The overall objective of GGA-WA’s research is to collect information on the socio-economic impact of galamsey operations, the current regulatory frameworks and the operations of small-scale miners in Ghana, and the processes and ideas needed to formalise galamsey operations in Ghana. Information for this research was collected through a combination of literature reviews and primary data collection using a range of qualitative methods. Fieldwork for the research project was undertaken in three districts (Amansiie West, Atwima Mponua and Denkyembour Districts) of Ghana with arecord of small-scale mining. This process included informal interviews with miners, mining officials, government officials, and local community members.

5. Building Sustainable Secondary Cities: the case of Ningo-Prampram District in Ghana 


Cities like Accra and Kumasi are experiencing a massive influx of people, which is putting enormous pressure on city authorities to meet address the needs of city dwellers and users. These cities also have competing development needs for the space available, making it difficult for proper and prescribed planning. Due to this difficulty, attention is increasingly drifting to secondary cities as the natural alternative to help contain such pressures. These secondary cities tend to have the land available to provide some level of infrastructure to accommodate the overflow from the main cities. Infrastructure such as housing, markets and waste management sites are often a target for such new developing cities.  

These secondary cities need to be planned and developed in such a manner that they do not later create the problems the more established cities are facing today in Ghana. Proper allocation and use of land will ensure secondary cities become sustainable as prescribed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) One. It is in this light that Ningo-Prampram, a fast-developing secondary city, has been identified as one of the most promising urban settlements in Ghana. Institutions such as UN Habitat have been working with the authorities of the district to put measures in place to ensure that the area develops into a well-planned human settlement.  

UN Habitat’s city extension project is partly to ensure that Ningo-Prampram becomes a city of choice for many residents of the city of Accra who may want to escape to a more serene place to live. The area boasts large tracts of undeveloped land with a fairly flat topography, which is an attraction for many developers. In recent times, the government has indicated plans to site of some critical infrastructure in the area to try and ease congestion in Accra. All these developments have resulted in a mad rush for the acquisition and subsequent development of land within the Ningo-Prampram district. 

GGA-WA therefore organised a workshop for land stakeholders to engage them on the need for land sustainability as well as to identify critical development pointers, which need to be addressed in the effort to build a sustainable and inclusive city. 

6. Gentrification, Rent Control and Inclusive City Development 


Globally, cities are now recognised as areas of attraction to many, especially those living in the hinterland who want to experience something different and seek greener pastures. For other migrants to the city, the opportunity to experience a more cosmopolitan lifestyle in which different cultures and practices are largely accepted as a way of life is huge attraction for them. With features such as skyscrapers, firstclass road networks, an array of shopping centres and many other features, cities will remain centres of attraction and opportunity for the majority for a very long time. Rural people seeking to migrate to the cities see the concentration of industries and other businesses as an opportunity to earn a better living while enjoying improved services such as piped water, modern toilet facilities and variety in transport services. 

The city with all its attendant opportunities also has stresses and features that, when not managed well, result in difficult living conditions for the very inhabitants who seek to enjoy what if offers. One of these is the high cost of rent and the accompanying influence on gentrification. The influx of people into cities with the unmatched development of housing units creates a situation where demand for housing supply, naturally resulting in high rental costs. The second phenomenongentrification, occurs when city neighbourhoods change due to an influx of affluent residents and businesses attracted to hitherto dilapidated neighbourhoods by low rents and improving service delivery.  

The combined effects of inadequate housing infrastructure and rising rents for limited decent housing stock results in gentrification worsening the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the city. The persistence of such a development tends to push some of these individuals out of the cities back to the hinterlands or forces them to find accommodation in slums and shanty towns, as was depicted in a 2018 GGA study, “Slums and informal settlements development: towards making Ghana’s cities resilient”. Gentrification may as well be a factor in preventing inclusivity in city development. 

GGA-WA, in fulfilling its mandate of pushing for good governance principles, has taken note of these city phenomena and wishes to commit to using research to find out the extent to which situations like these affect established cities such as Accra and by extension the 11 other MMDAs within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). The study will also propose measures to contain these developments, while comparing the situation in GAMA to international best practices.  

Goal of the Research 

The overall goal of this research assignment is to use research to draw the attention of policymakers and city administrators to the need to initiate steps to ensure inclusivity in access to city infrastructure, particularly housing. 

Objectives of the Research 

  • Use findings of the research to point out aspects of urban housing provision and access that could be addressed to achieve more inclusiveness for all classes of city dwellers; 
  • Identify areas for policy interventions that could minimise the impact of the rising cost of urban/city housing rent on the poor and vulnerable groups; 
  • Identify and recommend innovative ways by which gentrification could be made beneficial to the city whilalso protecting the land ownership rights of indigenous people. 

Expected Output 

  • A detailed report with pictorial and graphical representations of the findings of the research. The report should cite best practices, use both qualitative and quantitative methods of compiling and analysing data, and must adequately reference all cited authorities/publications where necessary; 
  • A policy brief of not more than 10 pages, inclusive of pictures and diagrams. 

Nov/Dec. 2019 – Institutional level validation of the draft report on the deepening of fiscal decentralisation for service delivery

1st Quarter 2020 – Spotlight events on election 2020 in Ghana



The continuous influx of people into big cities such as Accra and Kumasi is putting enormous pressure on city authorities in meeting the demands and in addressing the needs of city dwellers and users. With the land space of such cities largely taken for all sort of developments whilst there is also growing demand for more land space for future developments, attention is increasingly drifting to secondary cities as the natural alternative to help contain such pressures. These secondary cities tend to have the land space to be used to provide some level of infrastructure to accommodate the overflow from the main cities. Infrastructure such as housing, markets and waste management sites are often a target for such new developing cities.

It is therefore critical for the planning and the development of such secondary cities to be well executed not to create similar problems such as the bigger cities are facing today in Ghana. Land usage thus plays a huge role in the planning of secondary cities in Ghana. Proper allocation and use of land will ensure the secondary cities become sustainable cities as prescribed by the sustainable development goals particularly Goal 11. However, with the myriad of land stakeholders we have in the country, it is not given that just the acquisition and usage of land without the continuous direction and regulation of same will result in the orderly or sustainable settlements we will want to see. It is therefore imperative that land stakeholders keep on interacting in the various stages of development to ensure strict compliance to standards and to ensure a participatory approach to the ordering of our secondary cities.

Ningo-Prampram, a fast developing secondary city has been identified as one of the most promising urban settlements in Ghana. Institutions such as the UN Habitat has been working with the development authority of the district to put measures in place to ensure that the area develops into a well-planned human settlement. The city extension project of the UN Habitat is partly to ensure that Ningo-prapram becomes a city of choice for the many residents of the city of Accra who may want to escape to a more serene area of abode. The area boast of large tracts of undeveloped land with a fairly flat surface which is an attraction for many developers. In recent times, governments have indicated plans of siting some critical infrastructure in the area to try and ease the existing congestion in the city of Accra. All these developments have resulted in a mad rush for the acquisition and subsequent development of lands within the Ningo-Prampram District.

Whilst other development stakeholders are assisting the district with the physical and spatial planning in the area, the Good Governance Africa Centre (GGA), a non-government research, training and advocacy body, is coming in to organise land stakeholders in the area to deliberate on approaches to use to ensure land resources are used judiciously to propel the development of the district.

For the full outcome document, click here: Strategic Use Of Land For Inclusive Secondary City Development Doc


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