Sefwi communities endorse Chirano Sefwiman Foundation

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By Kizito CUDJOE, Sefwi Chirano

The chiefs and people of Sefwiman Traditional Area have rousingly welcomed the establishment of the Chirano Sefwiman Foundation by the Chirano Gold Mine Limited (CGML), to further boost local development and the livelihoods of the people, in the host communities of the Mine.

The foundation is expected to be entrusted to manage a trust fund, established by CGML for the development of its host communities which has so far accrued an estimated GH¢11.3 million, towards initiatives in the areas of education, healthcare, economic empowerment, and water and sanitation management.

In the area of education, in particular, the Chirano Sefwiman Foundation will roll out a scholarship program for local communities aimed at local youth at various levels of their educational journeys. This means that students who otherwise would not have the resources to pursue education will now, by this initiative, have access to higher levels of learning, and its resulting benefits and opportunities

The foundation is also expected to tackle the issue of unemployment by introducing programs to train and equip youth with skills that will improve their chances of gaining jobs. Through the program’s focus on entrepreneurship, beneficiaries will also be supported to setup viable businesses, which could boost the local economy.

Paramount Chief of Anwhiaso Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyehoho Yaw Gyebi II, said the setting up of the foundation hoped to impact positively on host communities and Sefwiman at as a whole.

However, he said to fully make the work of the foundation successful, the traditional authorities would have to contribute their quota towards engaging the people periodically. “We have a contribution to make, as Paramount chief, to allow our people to know what is going, give all our cooperation and also speak to our people periodically so that we do not create unnecessary tension in this area,” stated.

He observed that the element of scholarship which would be introduced to promote education in the area is quite laudable. He advised students within Sefwiman to realize that to beneficent from the scholarship is a privilege but not a right and therefore must work very hard to justify their inclusion.

Ogyehoho Yaw Gyebi II, who was speaking in an interview at the sidelines of the launching of the foundation, explained that should the beneficiaries also perform well in their various field of endeavors it would motivate the company and traditional authorities to vote more money to cover more people.

The Omanhene of Sefwi Chirano Traditional Area, Okogyeman Kwaku Gyamprah III (Dr.), also added that the work of the establishment of the Foundation is envisioned to promote development of the local communities especially in the area of education.
However, at the back of some concerns put across by officials of CGML, he said the traditional authorities would do everything within their means to ensure that the company will be able to increase its gold production, in order to attract more investment in the area.

The formation of the foundation, which took about four years to be completed was made possible through the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), chaired by the chief of Sefwi Paboase, Nana Frimpong Manso Ababio.

The company said it received input through consultation with all communities in the catchment area, was an integral part of the process, ensuring that the foundation has the support from all the key stakeholders.
“Through this planning process, it was determined that transparency and good governance were essential considerations. The Chirano Sefwiman Foundation is structured in a manner thar provides appropriate governance controls to ensure that funds are used for priority projects that provides genuine benefits to the community.”

The investment in the trust fund which the foundation would manage and deploy was through the decision of the mine, since its first gold pour, to set aside US$1 for every ounce of gold it produces towards social development. The company said it would continue the contribution over the course of its life of mine, providing funding for future projects. However, it said it is the only contributor the Foundation also has the capacity to raise funds from third-party donors, which may provide additional opportunities in the future.

The formation of the foundation, which took about four years to be completed was made possible through the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), chaired by the chief of Sefwi Paboase, Nana Frimpong Manso Ababio.
The company said it received input through consultation with all communities in the catchment area, was an integral part of the process, ensuring that the foundation has the support from all the key stakeholders.

“Through this planning process, it was determined that transparency and good governance were essential considerations. The Chirano Sefwiman Foundation is structured in a manner thar provides appropriate governance controls to ensure that funds are used for priority projects that provides genuine benefits to the community.”

The investment in the trust fund which the foundation would manage and deploy was through the decision of the mine, since its first gold pour, to set aside US$1 for every ounce of gold it produces towards social development. The company said it would continue the contribution over the course of its life of mine, providing funding for future projects. However, it said it is the only contributor the Foundation also has the capacity to raise funds from third-party donors, which may provide additional opportunities in the future.

The Vice-President and General Manager, Chirano, Terence Watungwa, middle, flanked by traditional authorities of the Sefwi Traditional Area, at the signing of the documents on the foundation

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