Promoting Gender Budgeting: The Case of Mineral Royalty Utilization in Ghana

Ghana’s legal framework ensures that communities affected by mining activities receive a portion of royalties paid to the state. In 2016, the Government of Ghana passed the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) Act (Act 912). The act provides for a portion of mineral royalties to be allocated to subnational governments (district assemblies) in mining-affected communities to mitigate mining impacts and provide funds for development. The MDF act requires the development of regulations that will guide its implementation one year after the act comes into force. However, though four years have passed since the act was operationalised, the government has yet to develop the necessary regulations.

Mineral royalties are a key source of revenue to subnational governments in mining-affected communities. These governments can use gender-responsive budgeting to address the differentiated needs of the community, particularly those of women. The National Gender Policy and the National Development Planning Commission’s (NDPC) guidelines on mediumterm development plans for district assemblies impose gender-sensitive budgeting on all district assemblies. However, Ghana’s current budgeting process does not follow these standards. The failure to implement gender-responsive budgeting at the national and subnational levels could further entrench gender inequality, particularly in areas where men dominate the decision-making processes.