GFGF pays GH¢779,583 as fees for 325 university students

Gold Fields Ghana Foun­dation (GFGF) has paid GH¢779,583.50 to cover tuition fees for 325 students in four universities in Ghana for 2022/23 academic year.

The gesture is part of GFGF’s scholarship for students from host communities and attend University of Ghana (UOG), Legon,Uni­versity of Mines and Technology (UMaT), University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technol­ogy (KNUST).

Since 2002, GFGF has invested over US$3.5m in fees covering tuition, hostel accommodation, examination and other approved charges.

Speaking at the presentation of cheques ceremony on Thursday, the Vice President, Operations, Gold Fields Limited, Michiel Van der Merwe, said GFGF desired to use creative measures especially in the bulk payment of Academic Facility User Fees (AFUF).

This, he maintained, had helped to eliminate the delays sometimes associated with receiving bills directly from students which in turn affected their registration each academic year.

Mr Merwe said one of the ben­efits of mining was that, through scholarship programmes, hundreds of students in the mining commu­nities did not worry about their fees or any increase.

He noted that, beneficiaries of the GFGF programme had also not taken the supports for granted and that“the sterling academic performance coupled with their discipline and generally positive attitudes have encouraged us to continue do more for them.”

Mr Merwe mentioned that Lou­is Ziemah from Samanhu, graduat­ed from UMaT, last year, with first class honours in Minerals Engi­neering, whiles Beatrice Brown from Amoanda, who just complet­ed her National Service in Damang Mine, also graduated with first class honours in Electrical Engineering from the same institution.

“These are the stories we love to tell as a company – that is, creat­ing enduring value beyond mining. Gold Fields, through its Founda­tion is excited to be contributing to Ghana’s drive toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goals four (Quality Education), goal five (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced inequali­ties),” he added.

He continued “Through engagement with the senior management of the University of Ghana, UMaT, UCC and KNUST, the Foundation has instituted some creative measures to further improve on the administration of the Gold Fields Ghana Scholarship programme.”

Mr Merwe recalled that in 2002, Gold Fields started a scholarship scheme which was formalised in 2004 under the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation.

Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, noted that GFGF scholarship awards would transform the students for­ever, and recalled that, growing up, he faced obstacles of financing his university education at UMaT.

He said that with the introduc­tion of free Senior High School (SHS) programme, financial obstacles had been removed for students, who would have missed the opportunity to further their education.

“Cost was a barrier because of systemic and economic barriers. That barrier has been removed. Today,we have 1.35million en­rollments with nearly 2 million students who have benefited so far. That is a major barrier removed,” Rev. Fordjour stressed.

He was happy GFGF had in­vested heavily in transforming the fortunes of members within their catchment areas.

He said: “This goes far beyond transforming the communities around, again it goes far beyond transforming the human capital of the Wassa Fiase. These are men and women, who are going to transform many aspects of our economy; agriculture, mining, teaching, education, and health.”

Gyaasehene of Apinto, Nana Dr Adarkwa Bediako III, who chaired the event, solicited supports from stakeholders for the ‘huge dividends’ GFGF had made in the education sector of mining communities.


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