Mining firm, Asanko Gold Ghana Limited, has signed a relationship agreement with some communities for peaceful co-existence, sustainable development and local employment.
As a result, a fund codenamed: “Asanko-Amansie West/Atwima Nwabiagya (AWAN) Development Foundation Fund,” has been set up to ensure that Asanko remains committed to promoting sustainable economic and social development within the communities where they operate.
A five-member Board of Trustees has been inaugurated at Esaase Bontefufo in the Amansie West district of the Ashanti region to see to the proper management and execution of the Fund.
The board is chaired by a lecturer at the Mampong College of Agric, Dr Richard Amankwa Kuffour, also has the General Manager of Asanko, Even Swanepoel, the Sustainability Manager of the company, Tammy Oboro, the Amankyea divisional chief, Nana Afrifa Boasa, the divisional chief of Asuowin, Nana Kwagyan Nuamah IV, and a representative of the Amansie West District Assembly, Kenneth Kansigi.
It was formed out of a 75-member Committee dubbed: “Asanko-AWAN Social Responsibility Forum,” covering representatives of all the communities.
So far, between 2018 to 2021, the fund has accrued $385,544.97.00 (GH₵2,209,442.56) generated from setting aside $2, out of every ounce of gold produced.
Per the agreement, a number of sub-committees are to be formed from the Forum, to receive the request and undertake an assessment of desired projects in each of the communities for execution.
Some of the communities to benefit from the developmental projects include Esaase, Koben, Mpatuam and Tetrem.
Per the agreement, the pact shall be reviewed every five years.
At the inauguration, the General Manager of Asanko, Eben Swanepoel, commended stakeholders for the “excellent way, of bringing all parties to agree to commit to a much better prospect for our operational communities.”
“Remarkably, we achieved this despite the challenges encountered in the process, in communities which have endured a history of unmet expectations of a people who have supported mining, decades before Asanko appeared on the horizon,” he said in a speech read on his behalf by the Unit Manager, Mineral resource, Asanko, Kwaku Duah.
Mr Swanepoel assured that Asanko will be committed to fulfilling its part of the agreement, urging all partners to also live up to the principles so that together they can achieve the common objective.
He said the Social Responsibility Forum was envisaged by the management of Asanko as an effective mechanism to create lasting and positive contributions towards sustainable development initiatives in the catchment communities.
It is to allow the host communities and other stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the company’s decisions and plans that affect them, deliberate on issues of mutual interest, help build strong communication and discuss how sustainable community development can be achieved throughout the life of the mine in the area.