Article

Corporate Social Responsibility in Ghana: Lessons from the mining sector

Human Ecology Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, B-1090, Professor, Brussels
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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    • "This is because of the numerous socio-economic benefits that accrue to the economy at large, and sometimes, the communities in particular. However, there is the perception that poverty and lack of sustainable development in mining communities and Ghana in general have been caused by the behaviour and operations of mining companies (Boon & Ababio, 2009). In the current study, mineral extraction and mining companies in Odumase and Teberebie were perceived to be responsible for the marginalisation of residents. "
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    ABSTRACT: Natural resources have in many cases been found to be a curse to some nations that possess it instead of being a blessing. Civil wars, environmental and health hazards have been the outcome in many developing economies that are rich in different types of natural resources. This paper explores how some mining communities in Ghana have experienced detrimental effects resulting from the natural resource extraction. Informed by the interpretivist philosophy, this case study research employed in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and observations to collect data from the residents in Odumase and Teberebie communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, in the Western Region of Ghana. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to select seventy-seven (77) respondents for the study. Data collected was transcribed, coded into themes and categories, and manually analysed. The study found that the mining communities are confronted with a number of environmental challenges, including pollution (air, water, soil, and noise), deforestation, abandoned mine pits, and dumping of rock waste on fertile agricultural lands. Residents have become vulnerable given the difficulty to access potable drinking water, fertile agricultural lands and inability to come out of poverty since their livelihoods have become unsustainable. It is recommended that collaborative efforts should be adopted by various stakeholders to sustainably manage the exploitation of mineral resources. Central and local governments’ policies and regulations regarding natural resource use, and in particular mining need to be enforced with local residents in mind.
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    ABSTRACT: There has been large scale gold mining in Ghana for at least the last one hundred years. The mining companies with the passage of time have moved from being concerned only with profit making to 'doing well by doing good'. For some years now the gold mining companies have made some contributions to the communities in which they work. This study focused on the corporate social responsibility activities of these companies with respect to the governance structure put in place and the funds allocated for such activities. The study found that the Ghana Chamber of Mines in reporting the expenditure its members made on corporate social responsibility activities added cost elements which do not qualify to be referred to as corporate social responsibility. The funds set aside for social corporate responsibility were very small and could not bring about a meaningful change in the communities. Also, the companies operated various governance modules with different levels of community participation. The study recommends among others that the Ghana Chamber of Mines establishes a CSR Index to encourage its members to do more in that area. There is also the need for more transparency in the accounting of CSR expenditures. The companies are also to allocate more funds for social corporate responsibility.
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There has been large scale gold mining in Ghana for at least the last one hundred years. The mining companies with the passage of time have moved from being concerned only with profit making to 'doing well by doing good'. For some years now the gold mining companies have made some contributions to the communities in which they work. This study focused on the corporate social responsibility activities of these companies with respect to the governance structure put in place and the funds allocated for such activities. The study found that the Ghana Chamber of Mines in reporting the expenditure its members made on corporate social responsibility activities added cost elements which do not qualify to be referred to as corporate social responsibility. The funds set aside for social corporate responsibility were very small and could not bring about a meaningful change in the communities. Also, the companies operated various governance modules with different levels of community participation. The study recommends among others that the Ghana Chamber of Mines establishes a CSR Index to encourage its members to do more in that area. There is also the need for more transparency in the accounting of CSR expenditures. The companies are also to allocate more funds for social corporate responsibility.
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