Gold mining and corporate social responsibility in the Wassa West district, Ghana

Despite a boom in gold mining in Ghana's Wassa West district (WWD), unemployment and poverty have deepened, partly due to loss of farmland to surface mining but more so because of the limited opportunities for wage employment in the district's 'revived' gold-mining industry. However, the large-scale mining companies are implementing some alternative livelihood programmes (ALPs) as part of their corporate social-responsibility (CSR) agenda. While the ALPs have provided some employment and income-earning opportunities and skills training, the prospects for their sustainability depend on how the challenges confronting the various programmes are addressed. This will require a well-coordinated approach involving all the key stakeholders.