AngloGold Ashanti marked this year’s Africa Day with a commitment to help sustain efforts to fight COVID-19 pandemic on the continent.
The company made the pledge when it joined more than 1.2 billion Africans across the continent and in the diaspora on Monday, to mark Africa Day, at a time the African Union (AU) was spearheading several initiatives aimed to combat the spread of COVID-19 and ensure Africa’s economic resilience.
The Chief Operating Officer for Africa, Sicelo Ntuli, in a statement released to the Ghanaian Times, said: “AngloGold Ashanti is committed to supporting the AU in its response strategy and is working in cooperation with the respective government programmes and stakeholders to roll out a series of hygiene and educational interventions at its sites and across communities.”
The theme for this year’s Africa Day, “Silencing the guns; Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development”, in part, provided the relevant framework to all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and academia to join forces in the fight against the pandemic, ensuring that livelihoods were protected and economic activity kept alive.
In March, this year, Africa’s leaders met and developed a comprehensive, continent-wide response strategy to COVID-19.
This is to enhance collaboration and communication on the pandemic by member states and partners, including Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC), which specialises in efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases in AU member states.
Mr Ntuli said: “AngloGold Ashanti aims to support the countries in which we operate to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The company continues to work closely with governments and communities and has rolled out a number of interventions to keep people safe.”
He congratulated all Africans on the occasion of Africa Day and pledged that AngloGold would continue to work to support governments and communities where it operates.
Mr Ntuli said the company had introduced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including stepping-up screening and surveillance of employees, banning non-essential travel, instituting clear self-quarantine measures and increasing hygiene awareness and facilities.
He mentioned that in Ghana, AngloGold Ashanti Malaria Control has disinfected health centres, markets and carried out education campaign on COVID-19 in the Obuasi municipality.
Mr Ntuli said the Obuasi and Iduapriem Mines had donated funds through the Ghana Chamber of Mines, which had provided US$2million to the government of Ghana to fight COVID-19.
He said Iduapriem had created an isolation centre in Tarkwa, developed a comprehensive COVID-19 education campaign and increased the number of hand-washing facilities at site and in host communities. It had, also provided medical equipment and PPE. “
He said about US$1 million would be spent on reducing the effects of COVID-19, at Iduapriem.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI