The Impact of Structural Adjustment Programmes on Two Mining Communities in Ghana and Tanzania


Publication date



Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for samfunnsfag

Document type


Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy


This thesis is a literature review of the impacts of structural adjustment programmes on two mining communities in Ghana and Tanzania. The strategies adopted by the governments of Ghana and Tanzania to attract foreign investment in gold exploration and extraction activities, raise the question of how these multinational mining companies have approached the environmental and social impacts. After experiencing extensive periods of depressed economic growth, Ghana and Tanzania were forced to implement Structural Adjustment Programmes as a precondition for obtaining adjustment loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB). Prior to IMF‟s and World Bank‟s intervention, the mineral economies of these two nations were characterized by excessive state control. Consequently, the mining contracts have often been redrafted several times to a point where the risks of the projects (be they financial, social, or environmental) rest entirely on the countries. All that has been done in order to create an investor friendly environment. The method used is a comparative method based on the Method of Difference by John Stuart Mill. The data is collected from published books, reports, policy papers, articles and journals related to the topic. The research questions are; what are the impacts of the International Monetary Fund’s and the World Bank’s policies on the mining sector through structural adjustment programmes to the local people in Ghana and Tanzania? And are these impacts distributed equally in the economic social as well as environmental sustainability? In order to answer these questions and give a focused comparison of the two countries, five key areas have been analysed the effects of cyanide and mercury, delay in/unfair compensation, abuse of human rights, displacement and/or relocation of local residents, and the huge wage gaps between the local and expatriate employees. In analysing these areas, the similarities and differences among them have been highlighted. The findings indicate that despite the success of structural adjustment programmes in attracting foreign investment to gold mining, Ghana and Tanzania have high levels of poverty, corruption, authoritarianism, government inefficiency, and poor social and environmental performance. Therefore, the World Bank‟s and International Monetary Fund‟s structural adjustment programmes have been of more detriment than benefit for the local populations.


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)