Manage corporate social obligation activities - DCEs

Some District Key Executives (DCEs) in mining areas have advocated a review of the state's mining laws to make provision for the regulation of Corporate Social Obligation (CSR) activities of mining companies. Based to them, there was no specific guideline on what specific projects CSR budgets of exploration companies could be channeled into and that gave them the discretion to determine what they wished to do, sometimes more to assist their interests than those of named beneficiary communities. Within the view of the DCEs, such a regulation should be designed to also force companies in the extractive sector to dedicate a amount of their CSR budget to funds projects to enhance the quality lifestyle of residents in those neighborhoods.

The proponents of that law are the Municipal Head (MCE) for Obuasi, Elijah Adansi Bonah; DCEs for Amansie Central, Michael Donkor; Amansie West, Nii Lartey Ollenu and Amansie South, Clement Opoku Gyamfi who have been unanimous in their belief that controlling CSR activities of mining companies would ensure that many locals got optimum advantages from exploration activities. In independent interviews with the Daily Graphic during a four-day assessment tour of tasks being undertaken by the Minerals Growth Fund (MDF) by the Fund's panel members, the DCEs stressed that there was your important need to look at the mining laws and regulations to take away the discretion exploration companies exercised when getting into CSR activities.

For example, Mr Bonah observed that because there was not a legal construction for CSR activities, mining companies used their discretion on what to do for host neighborhoods in conditions of social responsibility. "I have reviewed a lot of materials and found that in Europe, Latin-America and other places where mining will take place, their exploration laws regulate CSR activities and mean out what kind of projects companies can undertake for the people. Such an environment, the companies cannot just decide to use their discretion. We all need such laws and regulations here, " he or she said.

He seen that although exploration had been required for Obuasi for many decades, the area still lagged behind in conditions of development compared to other mining cities in other nations around the world because the attention of host neighborhoods had not already been properly protected by the current laws and regulations. For his part, Mr Gyamfi said the call for a law to regulate CSR activities of mining companies was long past due.

He said in the lack of such a legislation, exploration companies are not doing enough for web host communities. "Mining companies tell host neighborhoods that they are just helping them, forgetting that they are also taking minerals from our land and starving us of our livelihoods, " Mister Gyamfi said. He or she added there must be a legal framework that makes sure that mining entities provide alternative livelihood for host communities included in their CSR. Mr Ollenu also said a law on CSR would help to align community needs and interests with the CSR endeavours of mining companies.

"The mining company may be thinking about investment in individual resource but the communities need physical infrastructure projects. When there is a law spelling away what should be done, both both equally sides will work together for the bigger interest of neighborhoods, " he said. He stressed that since all local assemblies had immediate plans, it was important for CSR activities of exploration companies to be aligned with those plans to advantage the folks. "The regulation know that if mining companies want to do something for the community, they have to seek advice from the region assemblies to station the time into the right tasks captured in the master plan which reflects the requirements of the people, " he said.

Although sharing the same view that CSR activities of exploration companies must be regulated, Mr Donkor said primary should be on accelerating local content and participation in the mining sector. "People feel they have not benefitted enough from mining. Within our advantages of instance, Angloglold Ashanti has been within our district for quite a long time but local content has not been given much attention in conditions of recruitment, individual resource development and even physical facilities, " he said. The Amansie Key DCE observed that the law regulating CSR would help to build trust and collaboration between web host communities and exploration companies.

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