Mining giants, Asanko Ghana Limited has trained and graduated representatives of 20 local businesses in the Amansie West and Amansie South districts of the Ashanti region on international best practices in securing contracts in the mines and meeting timelines.
The project executed in partnership with Enablis Entrepreneurial Network Ghana is to provide individuals resident in communities and societies where Asanko operates with employable skills.
The three months training, mentoring coaching and peer-to-peer capacity building programme took the beneficiaries through Ghana's procurement law and process, ethics, customer care, record keeping among others.
Under the code name, "Asanko Nkoso project", it sought to ensure a sustainable transformation of businesses within its catchment area to thrive, grow and transcend the life of the mine.
It is also in line with the Ghana Minerals Commission objective of compelling medium-to-large scale registered mining companies to give a stipulated volume of business to local vendors, on specific commodities and services, as a minimum requirement for promoting local Industry and entrepreneurship.
A total of 41 local businesses represented by 50 individuals have benefited from the Asanko Nkoso Project since 2019.
The General Manager of Asanko, Mr Eben Swanepoel, said hitherto such local businesses have failed to supply right specifications, met stringent timelines or provided the right quality specifications of goods and services the company needs for its operations.
He challenged the vendors to demonstrate commitment when the opportunity is given them, to supply materials for the mine's operations.
"I hope the training initiative will help vendors establish the right business management processes and systems, and ensuring effective delivery of goods and services to the required quality standards to Asanko and the mining industry in Ghana and beyond," he said.
Mr Swanepoel said the training was a testament to Asanko's commitment to promoting economic development in areas where they operate.
The Country Director of Enablis (the training partners), Shika Acolatse, said by enhancing the capacities of the local vendors they will have the opportunity to advance the course of the community economically by becoming more competitive and will also create employment for the people.
She expressed the hope that the success chalked will demonstrate profound positive progress of the community with the recognition of local businesses on the national and international scale.
The District Chief Executive for Amansie West, Nii Lartey Ollenu, said the government has made available GHS600 million to support local entrepreneurs and urged the vendors to apply for assistance.
He said beneficiaries will start the repayment process in the second year of accessing it.
A representative of the vendors, Paul Osei Asibey of Pauluey A. O. Trading Enterprise, said previously the locals had wrongly accused the mining firm of given all contracts to foreigners.
"We now know that we were not doing the right thing, which was why we were losing the bids. With this knowledge, we are now ready to match our foreign competitors boot for boot," he said.