Alesia Ofori Dedaa

Alesia Ofori Dedaa


I conduct contextually informed research that can aid  Sub-Saharan African governments, institutions, and agencies to understand the complex dynamics that exist in communities (specifically the rural). In my Ph.D. research, I adopt this approach to unpack the nexus between mining (specifically artisanal small scale mining in Ghana) and rural water governance. Simply, I explicitly focus on how mining can help us understand rural water governance (supply, access, use, distribution, decision making, etc.). Similarly, I raise questions about what rural water governance can teach us about artisanal small scale mining.

In Ghana, I had the opportunity to work both in the government sector (e.g. Wildlife Division of Ghana), Academia (Teaching Assistant at KNUST Department of Wildlife and Range Management) and also with a number of Civil Society Organisations. I observed how these various institutions focus solely on technical top-down solutions in solving natural resource problems. However, current revelations about wicked socio-ecological problems such as the illegal small scale mining (aka ‘galamsey’) demonstrate that natural resource management requires a holistic approach that infuses the understanding of politics (and for that matter power) with ecology. I, therefore, adopt political ecology (i.e. marrying political economy with ecology) in my analysis of water-mining nexus.  I am particularly interested in micro-politics and its relationship with the macro. This is not because the literature on ASM and water are full of top-down perspectives, but mainly due to the fact that research on micro-political ecology in Ghana and West Africa is far due. My ethnographic approach to the problem above provides deep insights into both water and mining issues in my case study area, whilst offering lessons to understanding community politics and natural resource management in Ghana. 

Currently, I work with the water@leeds as a Project Assistant on the ‘Top 100 Global Water Research Questions’ Project and also in the Knowledge Hub (a collaboration project between Global Water Partnership -GWP-Tanzania and water@leeds)

Research interests

Published Work (Articles and Blogs)

Research Interest 

  • Political Ecology and Economy
  • Water Governance
  • Artisanal Small scale Mining 
  • Agricultural Livelihoods
  • Gender and Development 


  • Masters of Sustainable Forest Management- University of British Columbia' 16
  • BSc Natural Resource Management- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology'14

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for African Studies
  • Centre for Global Development