General Manager of Future Global Resources – Bogoso Prestea Mine Fred Ofosu-Tenkorang has observed that a self-reliant local economy in mining communities holds the key to solving the over-dependence on mining companies for employment and the provision of other social amenities.
“I also believe such robust local economy will also solve the misunderstandings that sometimes lead to brutalities and vandalism of properties in mining areas,” he opined.
Mr. Ofosu-Tenkorang explained: “When a mining company comes to an area, expectations are so high. That people will get work, there will be money and all of a sudden everything will be fine. Of course, there will be employment but how many people can the mine employ. So once there are support systems apart from the mine that help give financial independence to the locals then these uprisings, we see in mining communities will never happen”.
Based on this conviction, the mining company together with the German Development Organization GIZ has begun the training of interested residents in host communities who in turn will create businesses that will ultimately create employment and make people financially sound.
Already the company has completed the training of 150 master artisans made up of 120 males and 30 females in the fields of masonry, carpentry and joinery, commercial cookery, plumbing, motor vehicle mechanics, general electrical, dressmaking and aluminium fabrication.
At a ceremony to present NVTI Proficiency 1 certificates to the graduands, Mr. Ofosu-Tenkorang insisted that supporting small, micro enterprise businesses within host communities should be a necessity.
“This is because FGR Bogoso Prestea Ltd alone cannot create livelihood opportunities. Such vocational and technical skill holders have the capacity of creating their own jobs, raising the required income to support their families and to some extent employing others. This is why we have been supporting small micro businesses over the years.”
Community Affairs and Environmental Manager of FGR Bogoso Prestea Mine Robert Gyamfi on his part also indicated that no matter how big the company grows it cannot employ “even all the qualified residents in our host communities”.
“This means that the social gap will still be there and can even grow. But when we are able to create and promote businesses in mining areas where we have mechanics, carpenters and what have you, definitely the local economy will become robust and able to create employment. These artisans you see around are skilled therefore with little formal training and certification, they can become world class. And we can even give them all our ancillary contracts. Jobs will be created, wealth will spread…”
Some of the graduands were also presented with deep freezers, fufu pounding machines, gas cylinders, burners, knitting machine, ovens and cooking utensils.
The beneficiaries applauded the FGR Bogoso Prestea Mine for not only training them but also helping them with the needed tools and equipment for their work.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana