The Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) has completed 127 infrastructural projects in the company’s 10 host communities in the Ahafo Region.
The projects, which cost the Ahafo Mine $34.1 million (GH¢106.6 million), have been handed over to the beneficiary communities.
The projects include health facilities, educational facilities such as classroom blocks, teachers’ quarters and dormitory blocks, water and sanitation facilities and the extension of electricity to some communities.
NADeF was set up by Newmont Ghana for sustainable development in its operational areas in the Ahafo Region.
Currently, about 42 per cent of the company’s workforce and those of its contractors are from the local communities.
The General Manager of the Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana, Mr Okyere Ntrama, disclosed this during the signing of the reviewed Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum (ASRF) agreements at Ntrotroso in the Asutifi South District.
The agreements were established between NADeF and Newmont Ghana on one hand, and the chiefs and people of its 10 host communities.
Mr Ntrama said NADeF, borne out of the social responsibility forum, had been the main driver of the mine's social responsibility to the Ahafo communities through a contribution of $1 per each ounce of gold sold and one per cent of its net profit.
The Akwamuhene of the Asanteman Council, Nana Agyeman Bonsu, who represented Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, challenged Newmont Ghana to ensure complete restoration of the environment and ecosystem in its operational areas.
He said the restoration of the environment and forest management would enhance the condition of the people living in the area, explaining that most of residents of the host communities depended largely on the environment for their livelihoods before Newmont started operations there.
He encouraged the company to consider investing in the education of the youth in the area.
Nana Bonsu urged Newmont to establish a university that would focus on training students on mining operations in the area.
The Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr George Yaw Boakye, urged Newmont Ghana to ensure that 60 per cent of NADeF's activities focused on job creation in line with the objectives and vision of the government.
“Let us in our deliberations pay much attention to job creation to promote peace and development in the region,” he stated.
Mr Boakye, however, appealed to the host communities not to resort to demonstrations as means of achieving their demands.
He pledged to ensure that there were peaceful coexistence between the company and its host communities to enhance development.
The Vice-President of Newmont Ghana's Sustainability and External Relations, Mrs Adiki Q. Ayitevie, said there was an urgent need to do things differently to address the increasing unemployment challenges.
She said over the next couple of years, Newmont Ghana would be working with consultants and other social investors to explore viable economic opportunities that would generate more employment for members of its host communities.
"We will be working hard to ensure that when we look back ten years from today, we will see an Ahafo full of tarred roads, state-of-the-art schools, well educated, skilled and employed youth," Mrs Ayitevie said.