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Obuasi Redevelopment Project Gets Major Boost

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From left: Regional Minister, Adansihene, AGA MD Asubonteng and SVP Jordinson at the launch

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The Management of AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi Mine has rolled out an all-inclusive 10-year-Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) to further accelerate development of Obuasi communities and thus advance the good cause of the people.

It follows the expiration of the previous 3-year Social Management Plan (SMP) under the Obuasi Redevelopment Project.

The Plan, according to the company, represents the social investment strategy for the Mine for the period 2022 to 2031, and cuts across employment and job creation, gender and social inclusion, technology and innovation, environment, ownership and sustainability.

Under the objectives and scope, the company would support about 2,000 farmers to undertake self-sustaining agro-activities, especially in
the area of forestry-oil palm plantation, cultivation and marketing of vegetables and cereals.

Other areas include establishing an aqua-culture project and the rearing and marketing of pigs.
The Plan further seeks to train and coach about 1,000 small-scale and medium enterprises, organisation of trade shows and entrepreneurial
challenges with the intent to build the business acumen of the people.

On water, sanitation and hygiene, the SEDP has spelt out the construction of 12 community water systems and 10 public toilet facilities, the implementation of the ‘Keep Obuasi Clean Campaign’, as well as ‘Environmental Cleanliness Model School Programme’.

Under education, the Mine is seeking to distribute 500,000 copies of learning materials to basic schools, and construct 10 classroom blocks
with libraries and information and communication technology installed.

Mr. Richard Jordinson, the Senior Vice-President (SVP), Ghana and Tanzania Business Unit of the AGA, said at the launching of the Plan that the Mine had, since the inception of the Obuasi Redevelopment Project, spent a substantial amount of money on various projects.

Out of this, 84 per cent being an amount of US$860.1 million had been expended in-country on Ghanaian companies, some of them being
Obuasi-based businesses.

The Senior Vice President of AGA said the Plan was borne out of a strategic consultation  with its major stakeholders, keeping in mind the long life of mine, and the need to ensure all stakeholders benefit
from a viable and secure mine.

He assured that the Company will continue to pursue strategic relationships with its stakeholders to build resilient and socio-economically self-sustaining communities through Improved Social
Development, Diversified and Sustained Local Economy, and Improved Partnerships.

Giving an account of the just-ended 3-year Social Management Plan, Mr. Jordinson said the Plan,  which captured areas like Education and Youth Development, Health, Social infrastructure, Agriculture Economic Development, was successful.

He mentioned a plethora of interventions that accompanied the Plan. He said the company collaborated with its major stakeholders to
establish the KNUST- OBUASI campus adding that Various Youth Apprenticeship Programmes were also rolled out.

He said through the 3- year SMP, the Mine funded the construction of a fully furnished Maternity Block for the Obuasi Government Hospital and put up a state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit at the AGA Health Foundation, which has proven tremendously helpful in the management of COVID-19 cases in Obuasi, reducing mortality and morbidity in patients.

“Our SMP also birthed the construction of a 1.3Km asphalt road from Kunka Junction to Nyameso Shell filling station in Obuasi which has since eased the burden of motorists plying that stretch.

Mr. Eric Asubonteng, Managing Director, AGA Obuasi Mine, emphasised that the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan has been thought
through, and the final product was a result of a year of consultation involving major stakeholders of the Mine.

He said the Plan was a reflection of the lessons learnt in the implementation of the 3-year Social Management Plan, which ended this

Detailing the key components of the SEDP, Mr. Asubonteng said the Company plans to put up an Eco- Industrial Park at the former ‘ETS
site ‘in the Obuasi East District.

He said the Eco-industrial Park will comprise a community of businesses located on a common property in which businesses seek to achieve enhanced environmental, economic and social performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues.

He also said the company, through the 10-year SEDP, will collaborate with KNUST to establish the AGA Health Foundation as a teaching hospital and also build a Community STEM library at KNUST- Obuasi campus.

The Managing Director also said the company will establish a Robotics Training centre at Obuasi Senior High Technical School, establish AGA North Mine Workshops as a functional Engineering Training Centre and also train 1,000 youth in mining-related disciplines.

“To improve Community infrastructure, AGA plans to rehabilitate 10km of road networks in Obuasi, construct and equip 3 police stations or posts and install 4km overhead powerline and Street lighting”.

Mr. Asubonteng said the company would continue to liaise with stakeholders to facilitate socio economic growth of the mining communities.

Her Excellency Grace Jeanet Mason South Africa Ambassador in Ghana said the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan of Anglogold Ashanti presents an opportunity for the Mine to give back to the community and provide the needed development the people of Obuasi deserve.

She said the current bilateral reaction between Ghana and South Africa, especially in the extractive sector, will inure to the benefit of both countries.

Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, mentioned the role played by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Eric Asubonteng,
the MD of AGAG and the President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the redevelopment of the Obuasi Mine.

He was optimistic that the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan, if successfully implemented will enhance the development of Obuasi and its surrounding areas.

He, however, cautioned illegal miners who have pitched camp at the concessions of AngloGold Ashanti to move away, since the company needs
a congenial atmosphere to operate.

The Regional Minister stressed the importance for them to own the SEDP in order to achieve the vision of building resilient and socio-economically self-sustaining mining communities, he observed.

Mr. Osei-Mensah said the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) was worried at the impunity with which some illegal small-scale miners (Galamseyers) had been encroaching on the AGA Obuasi Mine’s concession.

The development, he said, did not augur well for the sustenance of the Mine, and warned the invaders to desist from such practices pointing to the impact of activities of ‘Galamseyers’ which led to the collapse
of the Mine some eight years ago.

Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo, the Senior Sustainability Manager at AGA ObuasiMine, took the dignitaries present at the ceremony through the framework of the SEDP.

Opagyakotwere Bonsrah Afriyie II, the Adansihene, said the Adansi Traditional Area will be closely monitoring the implementation of the 10-year SEDP to ensure that what have been listed is successfully

By Kow Richardson, Kumasi

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