PhD Student awarded scholarship for research

Solomon Amoateng awarded scholarship for commitment to research in natural resource extraction and management

Brea Elford - 17 August 2018

A University of Alberta Faculty of Law PhD student has been awarded a Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year, given to a full-time student who demonstrates commitment to the study of natural resources law.

This is the third time Solomon Amoateng, currently in his last year of PhD research at the Faculty, has been awarded this scholarship.

Amoateng's thesis, titled: "The Juridical Nature of Participatory Governance and the Integration of Community Interests in Natural Resource Extraction and Management: A Comparative Study on Canada and Ghana," focuses on an examination of the Canadian duty to consult and accommodate First Nations as an example of the sort of consultation process that might be possible in Ghana, where communities close to mining development experience considerable shortcomings in participatory justice.

Amoateng said that while Ghana has many resources and minerals, communities where those resources are mined and extracted do not benefit economically.

He said mining communities are some of the most impoverished areas in Ghana, often left with nothing after the mining has taken place.

"My hope is that one day, through my thesis, those communities that suffer from mining activities will benefit from those activities," he said.

Amoateng is from Ghana, but moved to Canada to complete his LLM at UAlberta Law. After completing a second master's degree at Dalhousie University, he returned to UAlberta Law to complete his PhD research. Professor David Percy serves as his advisor.

Percy said Amoateng's research, by focusing on the involvement of marginalized communities in natural resource decision making, offers a comparative analysis at how Canada engages communities through the duty to consult with Indigenous populations, particularly in impact benefit agreements where the developer provides benefits to the community in exchange for access to those resources.

"Amoateng is trying to get a sensible, workable framework for Ghana based on the experience we've had in Canada," said Percy. "He is a strong believer in the rule of a law and firmly anti-corruption. He's very determined to go back and make a difference."

Amoateng, who has won many scholarships since beginning his PhD research, including the Centre for International Governance Innovation International Law Program Graduate Scholarship, is thankful for the help and support he's received at UAlberta Law.

"I give credit to David Percy because you need somebody to support your work," he said.