The AngloGold Ashanti – Obuasi Mine, working in partnership with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, built and commissioned a rehabilitation and training center for Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Obuasi at a cost of GHS664,000, in Obuasi. The fully furnished facility will help build the capacity of persons with disability to enhance their social and economic participation in society and community building. The training center is expected to enhance the employability of PWDs through quality and demand driven skills. The center will create a production unit to generate income for running the center, reduce post-disability trauma and discrimination through counseling, functional literacy and rehabilitation among others.
Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine Dr. Eric Asubonteng referenced the 2008 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (of which Ghana is a signatory), which set off a dynamic new disability rights paradigms that empowers PWDs than any time in history. Dr. Asubonteng noted that the moral test of a society was how it treated the vulnerable, including children, seniors and persons with disability. As a people, we have a responsibility to promote diversity and inclusion in our development process, Dr. Asubonteng said.
He affirmed AngloGold Ashanti’s value of leaving communities with a sustainable future, through promoting fundamental human rights and contributing to the building of productive, respectful and mutually beneficial partnerships. The Obuasi Training and Rehabilitation Center project is in line with the Anglogold Ashanti’s vision to create and maintain an aligned and integrated workplace with an underlying all-inclusive culture based on shared values, which enables the leveraging of the diversity of employees and communities to achieve business outcomes. The project therefore reflects the company’s commitment to promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace and in host communities, Dr. Asubonteng explained.
National President of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) Rev. John Mettle expressed appreciation to AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine for its pioneering role in promoting and pursuing the interest of PWDs. Rev. Mettle said the project had been completed at a crucial time to support efforts to promote technical and vocational education, especially among PWDs. Rev. Mettle pointed out the high rate of unemployment among PWDs, which he attributed to neglect and exclusion from participation in Ghana’s education system, especially through school premises that are not accessible by PWDs.
Mr. Mettle appealed to stakeholders to contribute to ensure the sustainability of the project, and to ensure that the center fulfilled its goals. The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled appealed for a scholarship scheme to support the education of PWDs who excel in the Senior High School Certificate Exam and PWDs at tertiary institutions.
The Ashanti Regional Minister Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah described the training and rehabilitation centre as a product of successful collaboration between government and private entities. Mr. Osei-Mensah commended Anglogold Ashanti Ghana for its continuous efforts to work in partnership Government in developing the Obuasi township. “I was here to witness the commissioning of KNUST-Obuasi campus initiated by Anglogold Ashanti and a 1.5km Asphalt road constructed by AGAG. We can only say thank you,” Mr. Osei-Mensah said. Nana Amonimaa Dede II, Adansihemaa, called on the users of the facility to make the best out of it and to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.
Pan Multiplex Ghana Limited, a local construction firm, was the contractor for the Obuasi Training and Rehabilitation Center project. The center sits in the Kunka industrial area in Obuasi and will offer programs in electronic, Information and Communication Technology, leather works, fashion and designing and post disability training and orthopaedics services. The center has three components, a workshop/administrative block, a dormitory block and dining/conference hall block.
The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled initiated the original project with funds from the District Assemblies Common Fund. However the project stalled for lack of funds. Anglogold Ashanti Ghana intervened to facilitate the completion of the project as part of the company’s Social Management Plan.
Mr. Eric Asubonteng described the project completion and furnishing as a firm demonstration of the Obuasi Mine’s commitment to supporting persons with disabilities in Obuasi, a pledge the company made in its Social Management Plan rolled out in 2019.