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Newmont Ghana Goldenvironment we operate," Santti says. LEEP also trains beneficiaries in small animal production, soap making, batik, tie and dye, vegetable and mushroom production, snail rearing and construction of household storage structures, with the aim of helping to build sustainable capacity that is not entirely dependent on NGGL operations. Another programme, the Ahafo Linkages Program, has raised the capacity of local businesses to be able to offer services and goods to the mine. As of 2009, more than $10 million worth of business was done with more than 300 local Ahafo businesses.The whole process has been overseen by a formal Social Responsibility Forum, which is facilitated by an independent moderator and made up of representation from regional and district government; NGGL itself; members of parliament; traditional leaders; youth, women and farmers of host communities; and NGOs. The Forum balance in information flow and consultation," Santti explains, "and ultimately to empower women to take part in the development of their community, and in decision making with regard to mine activities." These community relations initiatives have been strengthened and further developed since the relocation exercise. But at the time, they played a key role in enabling the company to manage the changes in a way that benefitted the community. New homes and schools were provided for the affected families, while local farmers displaced by the mine were presented with the titles to land they previously had not been allowed to own, and were supported in their farming methods. More than 95 per cent of farmers are farming again, using improved planting and harvesting methods that are resulting in higher crop yields. "We wanted to be a welcome guest and addition to the host communities within whose March 10 www.bus-ex.com 21