CSR: Evolution to survive in a developing world

CIM Montreal 2011
Elaine Kwami, Mark Thorpe,
Abstract Golden Star Resources started mining in Africa after being a development company in 1999. At the time, the approach to local assistance was through "alternative livelihood" programs and the donation of infrastructure to local communities. This was initially successful with local community support. However, with time and on reviewing the implemented projects, it became evident that the success was limited and many if the projects were either poorly used or in disrepair.

Through a review of the options, we therefore decided to develop a community assistance model driven by the communities themselves while keeping control of the finances and the actual construction of the projects. Through the formation of the Golden Star Development Foundation, we began to support community-driven projects for local economic development.

The evolution of economic development projects continued over the next several years with the addition of project requirements for partnerships with government and finally an evolution to a partnered turn-key piece of infrastructure that we handed over to an agency for operation and ongoing maintenance. The learning experience and pitfalls to development are shared through the use os specific examples in Ghana, West Africa.
Keywords: Social responsibility, alternative livelihoods, CSR, developing world, economic development
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