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Corporate Social Responsibility in Ghana: Lessons from the mining sector

Human Ecology Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, B-1090, Professor, Brussels; Projects Manager, International Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED), East-Legon, Accra, Ghana
04/2009;

ABSTRACT Ghana is the second largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa, and the third largest African producer of aluminium metal and manganese ore and a significant producer of bauxite and diamond. Despite the huge revenue generated from mining activities, there is a growing unease amongst the population as regards the real benefits accruing to the country, especially the mining communities. The extremely generous fiscal and other incentives provided mining companies under the mining sector reforms add to fuel the existing anxieties of the population. Mining activities are having dire socio-economic and environmental impacts on the mining communities. Pressure is mounting on the government to manage the available natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner. This paper provides a concise account of the growth and development dynamics of the mining industry in Ghana and assesses the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices of the major mining companies in the country. It proposes a range of measures to promote, broaden, deepen and encourage corporate social responsibility governance in Ghana.

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    ABSTRACT: Social capital as well as natural capital must be incorporated into sustainable development. This is especially vital in mineral-driven economies because the government has a key role in substituting produced and social capital for the depleting natural capital (the ore). A typology of political states captures key facets of social capital at the national level: it shows that mineral economies, like most resource-rich countries, tend to engender political states that are prone to government failure. One consequence is that local communities (which often lack social capital) must bargain directly with multinational mining firms which, for their part, must internalize many welfare functions. Although local groups can use environmental issues to extract higher rents, this has heightened dependence on the depleting mineral asset and is not sustainable. A social audit can help promote sustainable development by creating a consensus-building transparency for deploying the mineral rents. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of International Development. 01/1998; 10(4):487-500.

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