Across West Africa, traditional communities are facing environmental devastation and human rights violations. This is mainly the result of an extractives-led development model that primarily benefits foreign investors and local elites, such as logging, mining, and cattle businesses. Advocates for Community Alternatives collaborates with villages to defend their rights and pursue their own vision of development through planning, financial support, and legal assistance.
With profits from 2021, World Centric funded two community projects with ACA:
Osino in Easter Ghana
In the area around Osino, gold mining companies have operated for about two decades but the local communities have seen little benefit. Instead, their lands and natural resources, which they depend on for livelihood, are being destroyed with little or no compensation, leaving them in abject poverty. Now the government is proposing to allow a massive influx of mining companies in the protected forest reserve that these communities depend on for clean water and natural resources. ACA is supporting the community with the legal and mobilization strategies needed to defend their rights.
With a first round of funding from World Centric in 2019, the communities launched two health clinics and a black soap manufacturing factory. By the end of ACA’s five-year intervention, the communities will be pursuing their own development trajectory that brings sustainable, human rights-consistent, environmentally sustainable economic and social gains to the community at large, and to fight off any threats to that vision by powerful economic actors such as mining companies, compromised traditional authorities, and corrupt officials.
Lofa County in Liberia - a collaboration between ACA and Village Development Fund
Six communities in Lofa County, Liberia, are under pressure to give up the Wologizi forest – one of the few remaining intact forest and nature reserves in West Africa. Illegal miners and loggers have already been taking advantage of the communities’ poverty to drive them off their land and forest resources and deprive them of collective rights to farmlands, water, shrines and sacred sites. Now, large-scale mining and logging operations by multinational corporations are posed to take their land.
ACA and VDF have mobilized communities to defend their rights to the forest and to protect its natural resources. They have also created villages savings and loans programs to increase the economic power of the communities. Microgrants are provided to each of the 6 villages to enable community-led livelihood improvements.
This is World Centric’s second year funding this 5-year project.
About Advocates for Community Alternative
A World Centric partner since 2020.
Advocates for Community Alternatives helps West African communities that are threatened by the destructive impacts of extractives-led development to take control of their own futures. They do this by working with communities to design their own sustainable development plans and advocate to achieve those plans. ACA builds networks of lawyers and other experts to help the communities’ plans come to fruition.