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19.02.2009 General News

Social responsibility must be crucial for organisations- Commissioner


Mr Daren Schemmer, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, says in order for businesses and organizations to thrive well in the communities they operate, they should complement best practices with Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) projects.

The High Commissioner who was part of a panel discussion on CSR, held in Accra, said CSR had a very positive effect on communities and the nation as a whole, therefore, businesses and organisations had to make it their priority and make investments in them.

Mr Schemmer stressed that CSR programmes ensured good relations and peaceful co-existence between companies and the inhabitants of the communities they were located.

Professor Yaw Agyemang, the Rector of GIMPA, said there was the need for the government, the private as well as the public sector to work together to forge the way forward for the promotion of CSR.

He said Ghana would continue to collaborate with Canada to learn the best practices in CSR for its adoption in Ghana.

Dr Tony Aubynn, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs, Goldfields Ghana Ltd, said organisations should not wait until there was agitation from their host communities before attending to their needs, adding that their goodwill should be perpetual.

Ms Lois Hooge of the Natural Resources - Canada, said there was the need to ensure that projects undertaken by organisations for communities were linked to the broad national growth objectives of the country in which that community was located.

Dr. Chris Anderson, Director of Corporate and External Affairs, Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd-Africa said when the companies jointly plan and execute the CSR programmes with host communities the security and progress of all stakeholders was assured.

"Benefits need to flow to the local people directly. They should not feel impoverished," he said.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby organizations consider the interests of society by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities and other stakeholders, as well as the environment.

This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees organizations voluntarily taking further steps to improve the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large.