AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited, has developed a 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) for the development of Obuasi and the environs in which the company operates.
According to the company, the SEDP estimated to cost $70 million dollars is meant to build resilient and socio-economically self-sustaining communities.
Focused on education, health, water, sanitation, economic and infrastructure development, the programmewill be funded by the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
Speaking at the Development Partnership Symposium in Accra on Wednesday to discuss the t10-year plan with stakeholders, the Senior Manager, Sustainability of AngloGold Ghana Limited, Emmanuel Baidoo, said the10-year development plan is on the theme “Contributing to Resilient and Socio-Economic and Self-Sustaining Communities.”
He said the development of the plan followed a three-year Social Management Plan developed to drive the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine’s social investment for the period 2019-2021.
“As the SMP drew to a close in 2021, consultations were carried out, culminating in a longer-term SEDP keeping in mind the longer life of mine, and the need for continuity in sustaining community support/social license to operate,” MrBaidoo said.
He said the SEDP, among others, would focus on community infrastructure, industrialisation, agriculture, skills training and entrepreneurship in partnership with civil society and non-governmental organisations to ensure their sustainability.
Mr Baidoo said under community infrastructure 10kilometres of road would be rehabilitated, construction of four-kilometre overhead power lines, construction of three police stations in Obuasi and donation of building materials to support community-initiated projects.
On entrepreneurship, he said 10,000 Small and Medium-scale Enterprises would be trained and coached, five entrepreneurial challenges and annual Obuasitrade shows would be organised.
The Senior Manager in charge of Sustainability said the SEDP had been developed through the active participation of opinion leaders, children, women, youth and persons with disability towards identifying community needs and aspirations.
“Consultations with community, district, regional and national level institutions to identify development priorities based on current and future plans were conducted. Consultations with key internal stakeholders at the mine site, regional and corporate offices reflects AGA strategy in the SEDP,” MrBaidoo said.
The Senior Sustainability Manager emphasised that there was need for blame game for the underdevelopment of Obuasi even though mining had been done in the community for more than 100 years.
“What is needed at the moment is collective efforts and a common goal to drive the development of Obuasi,” MrBaidoo said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, DrSulemanuKoney, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, described the SEDP as a good initiative.
“As part of the development programme of the AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, it is important that there is a framework that guides the development of the community,” he said.
The Co-Chair of Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Dr Steve Manteaw, urged the AngloGold to communicate the 10-year SEDP well to stakeholders.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE