Credit: Jack Adom
Attakumah and Trust Fund stakeholders
Ayaase is a farming community of about 700 households. The almost impassable road from Obuasi Township to the community has made retention of teachers for the only primary school difficult; but thanks to AngloGold Ashanti’s social intervention, the community now has modern quarters for six teachers of the school who have been making backbreaking journey to and from Obuasi on daily basis.
But Ayaase is not the only community which benefited from the GHC 600,000 educational projects which was commissioned by AngloGold Ashanti Community Trust Fund, the sole financier, at the weekend.
Beside the teachers’ quarters, the other Trust Fund projects which were all commissioned were the rehabilitation of two school blocks at Ahansoyenwodea, a new JHS block at Jimiso Kakraba in Obuasi Municipal and a new JHS block at Nyamebekyere in the Amansie Central District.
Speaking at the various events to commission the projects, the Managing Director of Obuasi mine, Mr. Fred Attakumah said, in spite of the complex challenges weighing down the mine, AngloGold Ashanti community values of ensuring that “the communities and societies where it operates will be better off for having AngloGold Ashanti been there has not changed”, adding that “the company has been faithful to its stakeholders and it will continue to work with the people for our mutual benefit”. Mr. Attakumah said AngloGold Ashanti is currently engaging its stakeholders including the communities to garner support to give a new birth to the mine; hence their unflinching support is certainly important to the company.
He said our presence here today and the projects that we have commissioned underscored the fact that we have not in any way diluted our values. “We are indeed walking our talk”. The Obuasi Managing Director said AngloGold Ashanti and the Community Trust Fund are focusing on education because it is the key to the opportunities in this tough and highly competitive world. “We can improve our circumstances, uplift ourselves from poverty and become what we want to be if we take advantage of what modern education can offer us”, he said.
The facilities that we have commissioned today are the soft part of acquiring knowledge and skills; and the hard part is that the children who will benefit from this facility have to proverbially burn the night oil and study hard with all seriousness. As communities, united to make significant difference in the quality of our lives, it behooves on Nananom and elders, parents and teachers to be mindful of their roles and responsibilities to ensure that the children attend school well prepared regularly and coalesce with the teachers at all times, in order to optimise the best for the children. It is also your duty to ensure the facilities are well maintained at all times, he said.
Contributing, the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Hon. Edward Ennin and the Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Ofori Agyemang Boadi commended AngloGold Ashanti for the projects and urged the communities to make good use of them. Hon. Ennin observed that “these projects are indication that there is now hope for the people in the communities and that they have not been forgotten by AngloGold Ashanti and prayed the communities to ensure that the projects are fortified and well maintained. He also urged the chiefs and elders in the communities as well as the teachers to take accountability in the running and direction of the schools.
At similar event at Jimiso Kakraba, Hon Boadi, on his part, commended the engagement between the communities and AngloGold Ashanti and pledged the support of the municipality to sustain and expand AngloGold Ashanti’s social intervention. He also noted that Obuasi schools have been performing in recent years and in the same vein we expect these schools to also do well to sustain the enviable record. “This can be achieved when we all work together”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and elders of the four communities at Nyamebekyere in the Amansie Central district, Okofo Sobin Kan II, chief of Dompoase also commended AngloGold Ashanti for their contributions to the economy of the communities and the country as a whole. He said, AngloGold Ashanti has done exemplary social intervention; though the company is in difficulties but in future they should assist the communities in the provision of all year round water supply and construction of their roads.
AngloGold Ashanti has on its own supported the development of education over the years. We have built more than 12 schools in Obuasi for the people in the communities. We are the main sponsors of the AngloGold Ashanti Kwame Nkrumah Lectures which we organise annually with The Institute of African Studies – University of Ghana. We built a hostel in the late 80s for Komfo Anokye Medical School. The Obuasi Senior High Technical School is our baby. With the Trust Fund, hundreds of computers have been donated to schools in the communities to improve IT skills. We have also donated 8 mini buses to several Senior High Schools in our communities to facilitate easy movement of teachers and students, Mr. Aboagye Ohene-Adu, Senior Manager Sustainability Development said in an interview.
School children at the event
School children at the event
Mr. Fred Attakumah, MD Obuasi mine addressing communities