Since the inception of the National Economic Recovery Program (ERP) in 1983, the government of Ghana under the guidance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank has amended numerous policies to establish a more attractive investment climate for foreign investors` participation in the mineral exploration and extraction sector. This study aims to identify the contributions of foreign direct investment in the mining sector of Ghana. Applying both quantitative and qualitative methods, this research reveals that there has been considerable growth in the number of new mines and exploration companies, the sector has increased its contribution to gross foreign exchange earnings and appears to have attracted substantial FDI over the years. The sector now accounts for close to 20 percent of gross foreign exchange earnings and attracts almost 80 percent of total FDI into the country.
Despite the impressive statistics, there is growing concern among stakeholders in the mining sector with regard to the real benefits accruing to the ordinary Ghanaian, the mining communities and the country in general. Contrary to the expectations of many people, the growth in FDI in the mining sector did not improve the livelihood of people in the mining communities. The research revealed that the presence of the mining companies has brought other social and environmental problems like high unemployment, inadequate housing facilities, drug abuse, massive deforestation, increased use and misuse of mining chemicals in the mining communities.