Prior to Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo mine in 2006, the main economic activity in the Asutifi South District was subsistence agriculture.
Newmont’s aim of creating value and improving lives through sustainable and responsible mining has yielded results through several initiatives to enhance agricultural productivity, local business development and skills training. Initiatives such as the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Program (AILAP) and the establishment of the Asutifi Processing and Service Centre, in collaboration with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), have added value to agricultural produce and reduced post-harvest losses.
The mine has engaged the services of experts from the Ministry of Food & Agriculture, as well as organizations such as Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) International to provide agricultural training and business management programs for AILAP beneficiaries. Through such initiatives, subsistence farmers within the mine’s catchment area have improved their crop yields and agricultural knowledge.
In addition to enhancing local farmers’ knowledge of productive farming practices, these initiatives have enabled other community members to acquire business management skills and expand their activities beyond farming.
One such farmer is Samuel Gyan, a local business partner who provides weeding and spraying services to the Ahafo mine. “I am a farmer and a trained mason. I had to abandon both skills for petty trading and even that was taking me nowhere, until I attended an OICI business management session.”
Following the session, Mr. Gyan set up a company and registered it in 2007. A few months later, he earned a contract with Newmont. “It has been the greatest experience ever. Working with Newmont helped me to get both weeding and construction contracts from so many other institutions within the district.”
Gyan says he was inspired by Newmont’s commitment to economic and community development and has taken a leadership role to help improve the community. “Those efforts have earned me a chieftaincy position within the community and I am really privileged to be in such a place, where I’m able to employ people and contribute towards the development of my community.”
At age 39, and married with six children, Gyan employs 25 people and has a place among the elders of his community. His small trading business is now being handled by his younger sister who was unemployed. “Newmont’s coming has positively impacted my life and the life of this whole community.”
Another local contractor, Frank Adomako, tells the story of how the Ahafo mine has impacted his life and others. An artist and local contractor, Frank provides sign writing/labeling services for the mine. “My daughter is currently enrolled at the Nurses Training College which was built by Newmont through the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF). I am who I am because of Newmont’s presence,” he says.
Adomako has committed to give back to his community and has trained more than 20 people for free through his apprenticeship program; he has had 17 children named after him due to his philanthropic work.