Mining giant Anglogold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine has refurbished and revamped its Engineering Training school.
The company has thus partnered Mac Partners, a Ghanaian-owned company to transform the school into a modern, sophisticated and highly practical training environment where trainees go through hands-on practical training.
Speaking at a Development partnership symposium organised by the mining company to discuss partnership opportunities for implementing the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan of the company, Emmanuel Baidoo, the Senior Manager of Sustainability said the company in its resolve to contribute to building a resilient socio-economically self-sustaining communities, intends to invest in human capital development.
“We can’t build the human capital without revisiting the Engineering Training school, which was the hub of training in engineering-related disciplines”.
Driven by the need to address the skill deficiency level in Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi engineering department, the centre was set up in 1987 to provide on-the-job training for the workers.
The Sustainability Manager revealed that as part of the SEDP, the company will train 1000 youth in mining-related disciplines at the Training Institute.”
This year, the company will train 100 youth, all from Obuasi at the institute to equip them with practical training to prepare them for the job market. Whiles we train them, we will also equip them with entrepreneurial skills to enable them to establish their own businesses”.
Issues of illegal mining have been a major headache for AngloGold Ashanti as the company has over the years struggled to deal with the activities of illegal miners in its Obuasi Mine.
Most of the youth who are engaged in galamsey have attributed their involvement to their inability to access jobs at AGA due to lack of skill in mining-related areas.
This, AGA believes would be resolved when more of the youth from Obuasi are enrolled on the Mac Partners Training Institute, to have hands-on skills in mining or engineering disciplines.
Mr. Baidoo said the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan was birthed out of lessons learnt from the erstwhile 3-year Social Management Plan which expired in 2021.
He mentioned that the consultative processes to arrive at the SEDP was extensive spanning over a year. He however said the company will continue engaging all stakeholders to drum home the impact of the 10- year Socio-Economic Development Plan.
Obuasi Eco-Industrial park
The Sustainability Manager of AGAG also made known that Anglogold Ashanti is facilitating the establishment of an Eco-industrial park in Obuasi which will serve as a one-stop shop for businesses in Obuasi.
He said currently the company has reclaimed the land for the Park, planted trees and grasses, developing a land use plan for the project.
“The Eco-industrial park is about leveraging the strategic location and resource worth of Obuasi to invite investors to come and invest here. The industrial park will have banks, hotels, hostels and light industries”.
He said AGAG will construct roads at the project site, fix power and Internet access and will support the Traditional Authorities to set up an all-purpose vehicle or business entity to market and manage the facility.
The Obuasi Municipal Director of Education George Alfred Koomson was upbeat about the impact of the SEDP on education in the Municipality. He said the plethora of interventions lined up by AngloGold Ashanti will complement what the Government is already doing in the sector.
Anglogold Ashanti in the SEDP seeks to organise a bi- annual instructional leadership training for Basic school teachers, distribute 500,000 copies of learning materials to basic schools, organise yearly mock exams for BECE candidates, establish a Robotic training center at Obuasi Senior High Technical school among others.
The event was attended by a wide range of stakeholders including the private sector, foundations and development NGOs, heads of public institutions and development partners.