Dealing with social acceptance : strategies of offshore petroleum extraction companies in Ghana

Moses ADJEI (Presenter)

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


Since the commencement of petroleum extraction in Ghana in 2010, there have been growing concerns about the relevance of the industry, especially to host communities of the country’s coastal areas. Based on fieldwork in Ghana’s South-western coast and analysis of 39 in-depth interviews with fisher folks (19) and other stakeholder groups (3 petroleum company officials, 3 officials from civil society groups and 14 government officials), this paper shows that in their quest for social acceptance, petroleum extraction companies in Ghana undertake various projects through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. However, the study finds that such projects are mainly selective and geared towards winning the support of government and other powerful stakeholders capable of threatening the companies’ sustainability, instead of addressing concerns of community dwellers (e.g. fisherfolks), who may be negatively affected by petroleum extraction activities offshore. Such corporate social responsibility approach has implications on how these companies are sanctioned by the regulatory bodies and perceived by local stakeholder groups especially the fisherfolks. This paper proposes a rethink of corporate social responsibility to move beyond philanthropism and voluntarism towards tackling the actual impacts of the companies’ activities on vulnerable communities whose life may depend on such resources, to engender some level of trust and cooperation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021
EventThe 11th MARE People and the Sea Conference : Limits to blue growth? -
Duration: 28 Jun 20212 Jul 2021


ConferenceThe 11th MARE People and the Sea Conference : Limits to blue growth?
OtherFor decades sustainable development has served as guiding concept for policy makers, including those concerned in coastal and ocean governance. At the same time, the ‘blue economy’ and ‘blue growth’ have nowadays become popular concepts in marine policy. Notions on blue growth especially ask attention for new uses of the oceans, such as renewable energy (wind at sea), deep sea mining and deep-sea fishing but also aim at highlighting ecosystem services that have societal value (coastal protection, CO2 storage and biodiversity). The concept aims to reconcile two seemingly opposing uses of the oceans: exploitation and conservation, in the same way as was intended with the use of ‘sustainable development’. The concept also seems to promise that there still is a new, not yet reached frontier for economic expansion.
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  • Offshore petroleum extraction
  • Social acceptance
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Local communities
  • Institutions


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