The Ahafo Regional Minister, George Yaw Boakye, has urged residents of the region, particularly the youth, to promote industrial peace with Newmont Africa in order to attract investors from all over the world to the area.
He expressed worry that the region, which had great investment potential and opportunities, could only boast Newmont Africa, explaining that industrial conflicts in the area made it very difficult to convince investors to invest in the region.
“The region can only develop to its utmost when we have many bigger corporate institutions such as Newmont Africa operating here,” he said.
Mr Boakye was speaking at the maiden matriculation and graduation ceremony of the Newmont Africa Construction Worker Training Programme (CWTP) at Techire in the Tano North municipality last Tuesday.
“Recently, I visited countries such as Spain, France, Portugal and Italy to convince investors to come and invest in the region”, he said, explaining that industrial conflicts were, however, making it difficult to convince investors.
In all, 72 young people from Newmont Africa’s host communities who had gone through three months training in welding and fabrication, steel bending and scaffolding graduated.
The CWTP is a three-month training programme established by Newmont Africa to train, in batches, 168 local artisans from its host communities in welding and fabrication, scaffolding, steel bending, carpentry, masonry, equipment operation and crane operations and offers temporary job opportunities through its contractors during the construction of the Ahafo North Project.
All the 168 trainees are locals from Newmont Africa’s Ahafo South Mine and Ahafo North’s 10 host communities, namely: Kenyasi No. 1, Kenyasi No. 2, Ntotroso, Gyedu, Wamahinso, Susuanso, Yamfo, Afrispakrom, Techire and Adrobaa.
In addition, Newmont African ushered another 48 young artisans into masonry and carpentry to be trained by the end of March 2023, while preparations are underway for equipment and crane operation training to commence later in the year.
Mr Boakye explained that investors in the countries he visited recently were much interested in industrial peace, litigation-free land, good water and availability of electricity.
“We were able to convince investors in the areas of litigation-free land, good water and availability of electricity.
However, we were unable to convince them on industrial peace because the region has records of industrial conflicts,” he explained.
He, therefore, charged youth leaders to find amicable ways of addressing conflicts between them and companies operating in the region when conflicts arose to foster development.
He explained that demonstrations were not the best and rightful channels to solve conflicts but dialogue.
A Senior Manager of Sustainability and External Relations of Newmont Africa at the Ahafo North Project, Joseph Danso, said Newmont recognised training as an excellent opportunity to develop local talents and assist them to acquire employable skills, not just in Newmont but the extractive industry in general.
He said over the years, Newmont had established a number of training programmes targeted at the local youth to develop the human resource in its host communities.
He mentioned Apprenticeship, Learnership, Graduate Trainee, Female Top-Up and Artisanal Small Scale Mining (Galamsey) Alternative Livelihood Training as some of the training programmes organised by the company to provide employable skills for many unemployed youth in the region.
For his part, the Director of Newmont Africa’s Ahafo North Project, Andries Havenga, said the company established the CWTP to train local artisans from the host communities to enhance their capacity to meet national and International standards and approved certifications required for delivering work for future work opportunities within the extractive industry and beyond.