Time to end ‘peanut’ Social Investment Projects- WR Minister charges corporate entities

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Western Region Minister, Dr Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah has charged corporate entities to review and enhance their social investments to support infrastructure and critical developmental needs of host or beneficiary communities they operate in.

According to the minister, corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by some organisations in the Western Region and other parts of the country, are undeserving of commendation, as it clearly represents an exploitation of people and communities they operate in.

Speaking at the maiden awards ceremony of the Western Region’s Chapter of the Ghana Journalist Association, Dr Okyere Darko Mensah remarked that some regulation need to be enforced to keep these entities to offer the best in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility projects in Ghana, as per international standards and practice.

“We need more tangible legacies. We’ve all traveled over the world and we see the same organisations operating in our region do huge projects in their parent countries yet their CSRs is akin to tokenism. In fact what I say is ‘sopi-sopi’ [peanut] projects” he scored.

He however mentioned the likes of Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tullow PLC, and a few others as an exception to this phenomenon, and thus commended them as such.

“I have opened conversations with Tullow, Aker, Springfield, Exxon Mobile and GOIL to ensure that this business of ‘sopi-sopi’ [peanut] of CSR shifts to internationally recognized legacies” he added.

Commenting on the same subject, Chair of the National Media Commission, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh urged organisations especially players in the extractive industry to adopt a more sustainable approach to their operations.

The awards ceremony was themed; “Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility: Moving from Handout to Legacy projects, the Role of the Gatekeeper”. Skyy Power fm, was acknowledged for promoting local contend programming, with an interest for the development of region.

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