Stakeholders canvass use of apps to improve rights of mining communities

Stakeholders in the mining sector have called for the use of web and mobile apps to foster sustainable development in mining host communities.

The stakeholders made the call on Thursday at a two-day Collaborative Meeting on Sustainable Development in Mining Host Communities (Hostcommunities.ng app familiarisation and onboarding workshop) in Karu, Nasarawa State.

They said the use of apps would improve the rights of host communities and enable them to receive maximum benefits from mining operations.

The meeting was organised by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), under the auspices of the Ford Foundation BUILD Initiative.

Executive Director of Centre LSD, Mr Monday Osasah, said the centre had been actively engaged in initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development in mining host communities across Nigeria, in partnership with the Ministry of Solid Mineral Development (MSMD).

Osasah, represented by Dr Emenike Umesi, Director of Leadership, Centre LSD, said the centre developed an app called hostcommunities.ng to ensure adequate development of the mining host communities.

According to him, the app is designed to empower members of mining host communities and the general public to report on community development projects undertaken by mining companies.

He said it was necessary to address the ills caused by the impact of mining on host communities leading to environmental degradation, social disruption and economic inequalities.

“This is to ensure that communities will maximally benefit from mining operations.

“We believe that this platform has the potential to enhance transparency, accountability and community engagement in the mining sector.

“We envision improved frameworks, enhanced livelihoods and increased awareness on gender issues as concrete milestones that can be achieved through collaborative action and pragmatic solutions.

“By focusing on practical interventions, we aim to equip our partners with the tools and knowledge they need to drive lasting change on the ground.”

Osasah said that the aim of the meeting was to identify real gaps, implement practical solutions, and measure tangible progress in the sector.

“Let us draw on our collective expertise and practical experience to generate innovative ideas and pragmatic approaches that can drive real change in mining host communities,” he said.

Director, Mines and Environmental Compliance Department, Dr Vivian Okono, commended Centre LSD for the initiative to transform the mining sector.

Okono said the purpose of the meeting was to explore innovative approaches to foster sustainable development in mining host communities.

“The app, hostcommunities.ng is coming at the right time in the sense that the protection of rights of host communities is very critical.

“You have done so much and there is still so much to achieve and in the face of the renewed hope agenda, I will urge everyone to think outside the box.

“This will help us to contribute our quota to achieve progress and protection so host communities can benefit,” she said.

National Coordinator, Publish What You Pay (PWYP), Mr Taiwo Otitolaye, commended Centre LSD, Ministry of Solid Minerals and the Ford Foundation for the initiative.

Otitolaye said the development of the software has transformed engagement in host communities as it gave evidence based interventions where host communities could monitor, report and give feedback on happenings in communities.

He urged that the initiative be cascaded across Africa for sustainable development in mining host communities.

The Programme Coordinator of Centre LSD, Mr Vincent Dania, said host communities is a web and mobile application platform that empowers members of mining host communities and the public to monitor and report progress of Community Development Agreement (CDA) projects.

Dania said the app was developed by the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), adding that the hostcommunities app was now available on play store.

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