Mining companies urged to integrate community interventions in its plans

Accra, Aug. 13, GNA
– Mr Emmanuel Baidoo, the Senior Manager Sustainability for AngloGold Ashanti
Iduapriem Mine, has called on mining companies to adopt an integrated approach
to social investment programmes to address the human capital needs in their
host communities.

Speaking on the
topic: An integrated approach to community human capital development: Lessons
from Iduapriem Mine, at the Ghana Mining and Energy Summit, Mr Baidoo said an
effective integrated community empowerment strategy should align with the core
business strategy of the company and the Sustainable Development Goals.

It must also aim at
strengthening the foundations of education, growing capabilities and establishing
economic participation in host communities and driven by good community
relations.

Mr Baidoo said good
community relations play a key role in any effective human capital development
strategy between a mining company and its host communities and this guarantees
and sustains the mine’s social license to operate.

“Though a mining
company may have all the requisite legal permits to operate, the approval and
acceptance of the local communities where the mine is located is critical to
the success of the mine’s operation,” he said.

“We have heard many
stories of how protests from host communities have led to the closure of some
mines,” Mr Baidoo said

He said the
confrontations between communities and mining companies which often threaten
the keeping of the social license are also indicators of the expectation and
willingness of communities for economic participation.

He called on mining
companies to see these threats as opportunities that should inform their
efforts to empower communities for sustainable economic participation.

In view of this, Mr
Baidoo said, a piecemeal or standalone approach to social intervention
programmes is bound to fail.

“Mining companies
which hope to renew their social license to operate must aim for long-term and
sustainable projects which impact the lives of the people over a period of
time. Importantly, these projects must empower the people in a manner that
makes them independent so that they are able to continue or even scale –up
without the support of the mine.”

Mr Baidoo said
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes which are carried out in close
consultation with local communities provide an effective and more sustainable
way for companies to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development
of people in areas in which they operate.

“Host communities
exist within a wider society. So, while it is important to secure local
community buy-in, deliberate efforts must also be made to rope in other
relevant stakeholders such as government, civil society organisations etc, to
ensure a robust and enduring Human Capital Development strategy,” he said.

Mr Baidoo said by
adopting an integrated approach to its community empowerment interventions,
AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine has seen a more streamlined and visible
community investment, which has led to growing resilience of its host
communities.

GNA

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