From Gold Coast to Ghana: Changing political economy of mining towns

Patrick Brandful Cobbinah, Clifford Amoako

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the influence of mining activities on towns in Ghana in order to appreciate their political economy and implications for urban planning. It first provides a historical account of the relations between mining activities and emergence of towns. Second, the legal environment informing the development or otherwise of mining towns is presented. Third, implications of mining induced towns on Ghana's urban planning are discussed. Using documentary review and empirical cases of selected mining towns, findings indicate that the political economic situation of Ghana's mining industry has produced and continues to shape affected intermediate towns in five ways: 1) some mining towns are experiencing relative growth, while others are slowly dying; 2) death or complete collapse of mining communities after mining boom 3) changed functions and local economy after mine operations are closed down; 4) emergence of new mining settlements resulting from new investments; and 5) resettlement communities resulting from displacement from the harmful effects of mine operations. These factors have implications for urban planning, and this paper proposes three entry points with implications for other developing countries: a space in Ghana's urban development policy for mining towns; a re-look at the content and focus of corporate social responsibilities of mining firms; and a functional link between growth of mining and urban planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
Early online dateJun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

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