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Poor Development in Ghana Mining Communities: Who is to Blame, the Mining Companies or the Government?

The state of Mining Communities in Ghana such as Obuasi, Tarkwa and Prestea do not match up with the soaring revenue generated and the precious minerals extracted on their lands. The towns are earmarked with dilapidated roads and other essential social amenities. Roads  especially within and outside most mining communities in Ghana are very perilous and risky to ply by vehicles of all kind.

The bad nature of these roads and other poor amenities in the mining communities keep most people wondering how such communities are poor despite their precious treasures. Whiles many people blame mining companies for the rot, others pile the blames on government. This article explains the roles of government and the mining companies in the development of mining communities in Ghana.

How Ghana benefits from mining

Ghana benefits from mining in various ways. The obvious benefit to all Ghanaians is the payments of taxes and royalties to government. Mining also provides quality and high paying jobs directly to Ghanaians. In 2017, Ghanaians constituted about 98.5% of the workforce of the mining industry. The rest of the 1.5% were expatriates. Apart from individual benefits employees enjoy, workers also pay huge amount of income tax to the government.

Mining companies train and give capacity to Ghanaian youth, who often transfer their skills into other sectors of the economy. Ghanaian companies also get various opportunities to supply inputs and services to mining companies. On the average the mining industry spends about 40% its revenue on local purchases.
With funding from their trust funds and foundations, mining companies continue to make social investments in host communities that have enhanced the quality of education, access to electricity, portable water and access to health care.

Read more through the link shown https://jungleminer.com/poor-development-in-ghana-mining-communitie...

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Comment by Kossi Ayegnon on August 28, 2018 at 5:10

 Dialogue des parties prenantes autour des droits fondamentaux des communautés riveraines des zones minières et le journalisme d'investigation  pour le renforcement de la redevabilité et la transparence nécessaire à la réconciliation au Togo

 

 

En effet, point n’est besoin de rappeler des potentialités dont dispose le Togo, en terme de minerais exploités et non exploités. Cependant, les inquiétudes se fondent sur la redistribution équitable de ses ressources exploitées au bénéfice de la population, en vue de l’amélioration des conditions de vie de chaque ménage. Le gouvernement togolais, pour prouver sa bonne foi, a fait le premier pas, en adhérant en 2010 à la norme ITIE (Initiative pour la Transparence dans les Industries Extractives), suivie de l’entame d’un certain nombre de réformes multisectorielles, ainsi que l’adoption des textes et lois pour la défense des droits des communautés riveraines et la bonne gestion des ristournes à eux versées par les industries extractives. Parmi ces réglementations, se trouvent le code minier, la loi cadre sur l’aménagement du territoire, la création de l’Agence Nationale de Gestion de l’Environnement (ANGE) pour l’étude d’impact environnemental, le Projet de Développement et de Gouvernance Minière (PDGM) pour réglementer le secteur extractif et l’Exploitation Minière et Artisanale à Petite Echelle (EMAPE), la mise en œuvre des RSE (Responsabilité Sociétale et Environnementale) et récemment l’adoption d’une loi le 05 mai 2011, dont le décret d’application a été voté le 05 février 2017 qui oblige les autorités locales à la constitution d’un comité tripartite pour la bonne gestion des ristournes versées aux communes ou préfectures, et aux industries extractives à exécuter des activités humanitaires en la construction d’école, dispensaire ou …pour le développement des zones dans lesquelles elles sont implantées. Comment les populations peuvent-elles procéder au suivi ou à la réclamation de leurs droits, si en amont, ces droits ne sont pas connus ? Ces prérogatives appellent l’implication des hommes et femmes de médias, qui se retrouvent en position de pairs éducateurs, par la distillation dans la population, des textes et lois votés, promulgués et adoptés par le gouvernement pour son application par qui de droit.

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Comment by Felix Adaania Kaba on August 23, 2018 at 1:06

The major hurdle mining companies face in Ghana is not only  the issue with artisanal miners - especially now that the government has placed a temporary ban on small scale mining activities across the country. Apart from the various sums and levies the companies pay to the government, the companies still pay ground rents after compensation meant for landowners. These ground rents hardly trickle down from government  to the rightful owners.

Besides the failure of government to reimburse ground rents, The other major challenge  revolves around which land stakeholders are rightfully entitled to receive compensation and ground rents for the deprivation of the use of land—chiefs, land lords,  tenant farmers or sharecroppers. The absence of a legislative instrument to clearly define the recipients of compensation under the various possible heads of claim aggravate the case for mining companies. All the groups of land owners have high hopes of annual compensations which are not fore coming. Poor infrastructure developments mostly roads increase the anger of mining communities provoking them into complaints and possible demonstration.  

Comment by Lemayon L. Melyoki on August 22, 2018 at 14:06

Agree with you Ron that companies are not always coming to chase away people who were doing artisanal mining prior to the arrival of companies. I only cited that an as example to illustrate my point. To take the discussion further, it is important to emphasize that the division of responsibilities is not enough if the parties do not their agreed portion of responsibility. I have come around cases where agreements are made verbally and not is done afterwards. In the end, the companies are easy targets to be blamed. Perhaps companies and Governments may consider factoring in these issues in their negotiations before they sign contracts.

Comment by Ron Smit on August 22, 2018 at 13:35

Yes, Lemayon, that clear division of responsibilities between government, company, and community itself, is crucial. Companies are indeed easy (and readily available) targets for community anger (and for governments who want to tax) and there is no substitute for frequent and well-informed discussion involving all parties. Companies might find this a bother, but it must be better for them in the long run.

On a side note: I have seen many MANY mine sites, certainly in West Africa,  where the artisanal miners arrive AFTER the large scale exploration and mining companies... The reverse may well be true in some cases, but it would be wrong to assume that large scale mines always obtain their exploration and later mining rights at the cost of small-scale workers who were there before!

Comment by Ron Smit on August 22, 2018 at 13:23

Yes, Lemayon, that clear division of responsibilities between government, company, and community itself, is crucial. Companies are indeed easy (and readily available) targets for community anger (and for governments who want to tax) and there is no substitute for frequent and well-informed discussion involving all parties. Companies might find this a bother, but it must be better for them in the long run.

On a side note: I have seen many MANY mine sites, certainly in West Africa,  where the artisanal miners arrive AFTER the large scale exploration and mining companies... The reverse may well be true in some cases, but it would be wrong to assume that large scale mines always obtain their exploration and later mining rights at the cost of small-scale workers who were there before!

Comment by Lemayon L. Melyoki on August 22, 2018 at 13:01

Rom, your comments on Felix's article may be correct. On the other hand, communities usually tend to blame extractive companies for the problems they face as a result of the presence of these companies in their neighborhoods. For example, when communities experience problems such as lack of employment for the youth who may have been carrying out artisanal mining before the arrival of companies, they blame the companies and spread news that the companies do not care about communities they only care about money. So I think, it is important to have a balance whereby a clear division of roles exists in terms of what companies should do and what Government should do and each party should perform their part. In that way, the present situation where communities tend to become victims of extractive activities can be avoided.

Comment by Ron Smit on August 22, 2018 at 11:42

Felix, this is an excellent article and points directly to the fact that elected governments have the responsibility, notwithstanding all the CSR projects that companies may or may not have. Mining companies are quite efficient and quick at setting up local infrastructure quickly (clinics, roads, school, etc.) but they risk becoming a surrogate government, as you have noted. And when there is a significant amount of CSR in an area, this may actually hamper investment by government in that same area, since they will be encouraged to spend elsewhere, where it may be deemed more urgent.

A related problem is the 'big man syndrome' where many nationals of developing countries do not question or criticise their elected government officials, but instead tend to follow them blindly.

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