Multinationals and the social perspectives: an assessment of the mining communities in Western Ghana
Sarpong, Samuel Arkwasi
Despite the intensive exploitation of minerals in Wassa West in Western Ghana over the years, poverty and deprivation continue to escalate within the community. The people suffer from mining-related activities and infrastructural development seems to be minimal. Considering the negative impacts and development failures associated with extractive industries, the question arises as to whether support for extractive industries in Ghana is consistent with the government's contention that mining would propel the nation to a state of economic development and reduce poverty in local communities. The study espouses the conflicting claims in this development strategy and their variants and provides an avenue for further discussions on the issue in respect of its place in development and international business. The primary purpose is to achieve insight into the policy questions and issues they pose for resource endowed countries. The issue here will be how to forge a consistent paradigm, which makes economic sense, and which takes the complexity of social reality into consideration. The study, thus, documents how internationally generated policies have impacted on the lives of local people in Wassa West, in particular, and Ghana as a whole. It draws on the new dynamic that is created when local and global interact, as is inevitable when a multinational corporation begins operations in rural communities. In assessing the situation in Wassa West, the study incorporated a variety of ethnographic and qualitative methods of data collection, including a wide range of documentary sources. The thesis concludes that it is important to re-think the paradigm that sees foreign investment as a sine qua non for development.