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Corporate Social Responsibility at African mines: Linking the past to the present

Hilson, Abigail, Hilson, Gavin, Dauda, Suleman
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.241 pp. 340-352
case studies, corporate social responsibility, globalization, gold, issues and policy, mining, politics, Ghana
This paper traces the origins of the 'brand' of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) employed at large-scale mines across sub-Saharan Africa. Conceived within fortified resource enclaves, the policies adopted and actions taken in the area of CSR at many of the region's large-scale mines today have had had minimal effect on community wellbeing. Further examination reveals that contemporary CSR strategy in the region's mining sector is often a 'repackaging' and 'rebranding' of moves made by major operators during the colonial period and early years of country independence to pacify and engage local communities. Today, this work is being championed as CSR but failing to deliver much change, its impact minimized by the economic and political forces at work in an era of globalization, during which extractive industry enclaves that are disconnected from local economies have been able to flourish. As case study of Ghana, long one of the largest gold mining economies in sub-Saharan Africa, is used to illustrate these points.