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Promoting small-scale mining sector businesses and the role of institutions - a conflict prevention and resolution study in Ghana

  • This study was designed to answer the question of whether resource performance depends more on good governance or rather on effective institutional structures. The specific aim is to make clear the extent to which good governance and institutions promote small scale gold mining businesses, to explain empirically the nature of human rights challenges in the small-scale mining (SSM) industry from the perspective of mining mangers, to investigate the nature, determinants, and frequency of conflicts associated with SSM, and to discuss the challenges facing SSM operations and ways to confront them. The findings show that, in the context of efforts to spur economic development, the exploitation of mineral resources has the potential to bring about far-reaching environmental and social changes. These changes can create opportunities, but they also represent a business risk for corporations and a social risk for communities. There is as a consequence a pressing need to investigate recent threats to mineral resource exploration relating to economic development, peace and stability, and the survival of private businesses. These threats are particularly serious for less-developed countries that are net exporters of natural resources. Such countries could use these resources to drive economic development and decrease their dependence on aid from developed countries. In most of them, however, owing to a lack of strong institutions, mismanagement of mineral and other natural resources has fueled social conflict without producing meaningful development. In addition, there is often the perception in countries such as Ghana, which is the subject of this study, that mining, whatever its benefits, is responsible for significant environmental damage and for Human Rights Adverse Impacts (HRAI), including child labor and exploitation, displacement of rural households, and violence. For these reasons, investment in the mining sector and associated businesses has often faced stiff resistance. Given the right governmental institutions, small-scale gold mining and associated activities can prove beneficial to and be accepted by a society and can attract further investment; under the wrong circumstances, this type of mining can impact society negatively. At the very least, when SSM is poorly managed, the anticipated benefits to the business community and the broader society are unlikely to materialize. The evidence from large-scale mining, particularly in the wake of Ghana’s civil war, indicates a correlation between mineral resources and conflict. Less is known about the nature, frequency, and causes of conflicts that afflict households in Ghana’s artisanal mining communities. There is accordingly a need for research into ways to prevent human rights violations and to create share value in the SSM sector through social development and renewed incentives for investment in it. This thesis represents an attempt to fill this need by exploring whether the capacity of resources—in this case, gold mining—to spur economic development—here, by creating competitive SSM businesses, improving livelihoods, or reducing poverty—depends on governance structures and whether there is a correlation between SSM and conflict outside the context of civil war. This thesis is informed by three broad insights. The first concerns the challenges facing the SSM activities that play a vital role in the Ghanaian economy. Second, there is the importance of the role played by institutions in the development of SSM amid renewed attraction of investment in the sector. Third, changing social expectations are a crucial aspect sustainable mining and the protection of human rights.
Author:Michael Kusi Appiah
Referee:Josef Wieland, Michael Schramm
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Zeppelin Universität
Granting Institution:Zeppelin Universität
Date of final exam:2018/07/16
Release Date:2018/10/31
Tag:Ghana, economy, economic development, governance, institutional structures, small scale mining industry, mineral resource exploration, social conflict, conflict prevention, exploitation, human rights, child labor
Page Number:XVII, 224 Seiten
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt