Some 168 women in the Obuasi Municipality of Ashanti Region have graduated successfully after undergoing a business enhancement training programme organised by AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine, as part of its to support growth of the local economy.
At a short but colourful ceremony to present certificates of completion to beneficiaries, the Senior Sustainability Manager of AGA-Obuasi Mine, Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo, said he is hopeful that the training’s objective, to help local business growth through knowledge-sharing and technical know-how, will soon be seen among the beneficiaries.
While urging the beneficiaries to endeavour to apply the knowledge offered their trade to make this realisable, he said his outfit is committed to working with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to empower more women.
He said at least a targetted 500 women in the Municipality will be trained in various business advisory programmes every year.
The Senior Sustainability Manager explained that the just-ended programme was part of a 3-year Social Management Plan to among others promote development in the Municipality
Meanwhile, he said as the Social Management Plan ends, the mine is considering a 10-year Socio-Economic Development Plan to further enhance efforts at bringing development to Obuasi Municipality. This, he said, will be done in partnership with the people from the Municipality.
He noted that Enterprise and Skills Development is a major component of the Social Management Plan. This is against a backdrop that the ‘downtime’ experienced by the mine in the recent past adversely affected the local economy of Obuasi, which almost became deserted.
The Social Management Plan, he noted, is therefore intended to contribute in diversifying the local economy. This is, among others, through empowering people and businesses to flourish, leading to a buoyant economy.
He said the mine is not capable of employing all the locals, thus it becomes imperative for it to support the growth of businesses.
Mr. Baidoo said the Community Trust fund of the mine has already set up a garment centre to offer apprenticeship training in sewing, while also taking orders in and outside the Municipality to sustain the work being done.
He said plans are advanced to also introduce other apprenticeship programmes. This, he said, will enable both interested persons and those already in the trade to further sharpen their skills.
Additionally, he said, there has already been some partnership with ‘Invest in Africa’ to invest about US$500,000 to support local companies through a year’s training among others.
He entreated the beneficiaries to also promote peaceful coexistence with Obuasi Mine in order to ensure local development.
A representative of the Municipal Chief Executive of Obuasi, also speaking at the ceremony, observed that the opportunity provided by AGA will bring a lasting impact on the livelihoods of women within Municipality
He noted that such a contribution from the private sector is commendable, particularly given that it complements efforts of government in promoting human development.
He urged beneficiaries to endeavour to apply the knowledge received in their trade. He was hopeful that they will be in a position to also share the knowledge with others.
Some of the beneficiaries took turns to recall what they have learnt from the programme – like records-keeping, tracking their cashflow, enhancing customer service among others, and how they hope this will affect their business growth.
The enterprise and skills development training was done by the mines in partnership with the NBSSI and Municipal Assembly