The Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas (CSPOG) was established in 2009 as a Platform for knowledge sharing and for harmonizing the voices and actions of Ghanaian civil society in the oil and Gas sector. It has a membership strength of 120 individuals and 60 Organisation including Gender, Organised Labour Groups, Faith Based, Media Representatives and Community Based Groups. The Platform takes its roots from a civil society consultative meeting organised in Mankessim, in the Central Region in 2008, ahead of the first ever Ghana Oil for Development Conference organised in that same year by the Government of Ghana and its development partners.
The Oil for Development Conference was intended to solicit input into the development of the governance framework for the country’s newly discovered oil and gas resources. Civil society participation in the government-led conference was restricted to a handful of civil society groups, and so the Mankessim forum became necessary for the purpose of collating the input of a larger civil society for submission to the government-led conference.
The Forum provided a unique opportunity for groups and individuals interested in the oil and gas industry, to learn more about it, and to make informed contribution to the public discourses around oil and gas governance. It was apparent from Mankessim that a common reference point for consulting with Ghanaian civil society on matters of petroleum policy and legislation was needed to make it easy for government to engage whenever it had to. It was also recognised that, to make the desired impact on petroleum sector governance it was necessary that civil society found a way to harmonise their positions, as well as coordinate their voices and actions.
The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) was therefore tasked by the Mankessim forum to work towards creating such platform to bring together Ghanaian civil society and individuals interested in oil and gas issues from whatever perspective.
ISODEC accomplished the tasked with support from Hewlett Foundation and Oxfam America. And in 2009, the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas was formerly launched. It is hosted by ISODEC who also serves as its fiscal agent. The Platform is a loose one, with an active membership of 60 organisations drawn from NGOs, community-based groups, gender, and faith-based organizations, media representatives, and organized labour; and 124 individuals from diverse walks of life. ISODEC provides hosting facilities to the Platform, and serves as its fiscal agent. This means, ISODEC provides office space, administrative and accounting support to the Platform and the Platform makes a financial contribution to these costs. The affairs of the Platform are managed by a 7-member national steering committee, which approves the Platforms budgets and oversee it implementation. Currently, the Secretariat is managed by one fulltime staff and two volunteers