The Western Regional minister has tasked mining companies operating in the region to redefine their community investments towards projects that will make Tarkwa and Nkroful the second and third "Johannesburgs" in Africa.
Dr. Kobby Otchere Darko Mensah said the agitations and discontentment towards the level of development by residents, despite their corporate social investments, should prompt companies of the end of an era of "compensational projects" which are done largely to buy community social licenses.
Speaking during an interaction with officials of Adamus Resources, a multinational mining company in the Ellembelle District, he commended the company's array of investments in the district.
He lauded how the company has invested towards health, sanitation, road and other infrastructure but stated that "these things are good, but it cannot make Nkroful the third Johannesburg in Africa."
"So next time when you are doing your CSRs, think of projects that will get tourists visiting the birth place of Ghana's first president. Put up infrastructure that focuses on making your catchment areas the third Johannesburg in Africa," he said.
Almost all mining communities in Ghana are bedevilled with underdevelopment. Roads leading up to Tarkwa, Obuasi Prestea and other areas are yet to be asphalted.
Buildings, source of drinking water, drainage systems, access to other public services are in contrast with revenues generated from the communities.
Mining companies have been mitigating these service and infrastructural deficit through what Dr. Darkoh described as "compensational projects.
"You have been mitigating these things somehow, but the truth is, it cannot make the areas like the Johannesburg we all reference. So begin redirecting your [CSR] projects towards making Nkuroful the third Johannesburg. I have directed those [mining companies] in Tarkwa to begin making the town then second Johannesburg in Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Darkoh highlighted government's commitment towards ensuring that investments made in the Western region are supported and protected.
"We are a government that believes in the private sector to assist create jobs for our people. This means we have to support your investments to succeed.
“Do let us hear through our MMDCEs your challenges so we all sit down to fashion out sustainable solutions ". D. Otchere Darkoh concluded.