Anglogold Ashanti eyes 10-year social plan for Obuasi

“One hundred and two jobs have been created, GhC7 million won in contracts and over 100% growth in business”. This is the success story of the three-year Social Management Plan set in motion in 2019 by the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mines to help diversify and also boost the local economy of Obuasi and their other host communities.

As the plan draws to an end, Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine is already working on a longer term plan; one that will last for a ten year period.

Managing Director of the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine; Dr. Eric Asubonteng highlighted the success of the three year plan during the opening of the Obuasi Enterprise and skills development center at Obuasi last Thursday.

He explained that the Skills Development Centre is a critical piece of the Enterprise Development Programme under the company’s social management plan and an anchor for the private sector development objective of the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Community Trust fund.

It has been jointly established by Anglogold Ashanti Ghana and the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Trust fund as a one-stop hub to provide solutions to global businesses and to support skills development and capacity building. The centre is disability-user-friendly and made up of a multi-purpose conference/training centre, a business centre, eight mini meeting areas, a fully equipped industrial sewing centre, a fully equipped leather workshop, a bead making centre and hand sanitizer making centre.

Dr. Eric Asubonteng also revealed that through the establishment of the centre, Anglogold Ashanti has under the enterprise Development Programme provided business solutions support to about six hundred businesses in Obuasi including women-owned businesses and artisans to enhance their production capacity, efficiency and their ability to compete.

“Through collaboration with Invest in Africa, Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi has successfully placed 100 SMEs in Obuasi on the Africa partner pool platform to promote their products and services and the standards they can deliver to make it easier for big companies to find them” he said and added that “through this collaboration and training provided to these small businesses, 102 jobs have been created, GHC7million won in contracts and over 100% average growth in sales realized.”

Through collaboration with the Ghana Enterprise Agency and the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, about 50 women-owned SME’s have been able to formalize their businesses. Under the skills development program, 60 master crafts persons have been trained in leather works, bead craft and fashion amongst others which they are also expected to pass on to others. This training will expand their current businesses and also create indirect jobs through apprenticeship training. The centre has the potential to boost the local Obuasi economy by developing market-ready training programmes to improve living conditions of youth and their self-reliance. Confident the centre will improve both human and economic capital and assist in the development and fast flow of business activities in Obuasi and other host communities of the mines.

As part of the Obuasi mine redevelopment project, Anglogold Ashanti Ghana launched a three-year Social Management plan in 2019 to serve as a blueprint for the company’s contribution toward the socio-economic development of Obuasi.

The mine remains committed to supporting local initiative that will help diversify the local economy and looks forward to further working with both government and all other stakeholders to improve livelihoods in their host communities.

As the three year social development plan draws to an end, by end of 2021, a longer-term plan is being hatched. This 10 year plan will be shared with all once completed.

Ashanti Regional Minister; Simon Osei Mensah who commissioned the Centre, also praised the various initiatives and projects being undertaken by the company and encouraged them to continue and also guard against anything that has the potential to destabilize the company.

He also emphasized the need for skills training to enable the youth acquire the skills needed to enhance their livelihoods and make them self-reliant. “Let me emphasize today that when you opt to attend a technical or vocational school, you are not blockheaded, if you choose to learn a trade, you are not a dunce” he stressed and called for a new way of thinking that promotes skills training and entrepreneurship.

He stressed that real wealth can only be made via entrepreneurship and not salaried work. “Look around you and tell me which of the rich men you know who works for salary”, he queried and called on parents to encourage entrepreneurial tendencies in their wards.

Nana Boakye Yiadom; a board member of the Community Trust Fund revealed that the project formed part of two million five hundred and twenty-one thousand, nine hundred and one Ghana Cedis (GHC2,521, 901.00) made available to the Trust Fund by Anglogold Ashanti. He revealed that from the same amount, One Hundred and twenty students will be supported every year with bursaries while the various communities receive various projects including school blocks and borehole projects.

The residents were excited at the prospects of the centre and expressed hope it will help improve their living standards.

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