AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Company Limited has presented scholarship to 50 brilliant and needy students from Obuasi and other districts within the company’s operational areas at a special ceremony at Obuasi.
Each of the beneficiaries received Gh¢2,500 a year for three years as they continue their senior secondary education.
The package dubbed “AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Community Trust Fund” instituted in 2012 was part of initiatives of the company to enhance development of people in its operational area.
Launching the fund, Nana Ampofo Bekoe, Sustainability Manager of AGA, said the aim of the project was to provide funding to support brilliant and needy students to pursue senior high and tertiary education in the country.
It also aims at reducing school drop-out rate from junior high to senior high school within the company’s operational areas.
He urged the beneficiary students to learn hard to merit the scholarship so they could be emulated by other people.
The project is being funded from one per cent of the total profit of the company every year.
Mr Bekoe said the scholarship initiative was part of the government’s stability agreement signed between the company and the government in 2004, that one per cent profit of the company’s profit after tax would be deposited into a fund to be known as Obuasi Community Trust Fund to support economic development of Obuasi and other related areas of the company’s operations.
The Sustainability Manager added that the fund was being managed by a three-tier structure comprising a 32-member steering committee, seven-member board and a three-member secretariat.
During the first year of operation of the project in 2012, a total of Gh¢450,000 was spent on diverse education support projects in the operational areas.
In the second year, Gh¢600,000 was spent on education infrastructure such as school buildings, refurbishment of school blocks, while the third year, 2014, saw the execution of water and sanitation projects in the form of 12 water mechanised bore holes in some communities.
In 2015, 20 water closet facilities were built in eight communities to the tune of Gh¢825,000 in the company’s operational areas.
Mr Bekoe indicated that aside from the scholarship being offered by the company in 2016, there would be an investment in water and sanitation projects costing more than Gh¢600,000 this year.
He said he was optimistic that all the projects geared towards bettering the standard of living of the people would help bring hope to the people, adding that the beneficiaries would be monitored and the top 10 among them would be supported at the tertiary level.
He mentioned that more than 300 people applied for the scholarship but only 50 got the opportunity to be supported.
Mr Francis Amoah, the Manager of AGA Trust Fund, said he was optimistic that the fund would surely bring much improvement in the lives of many residents of the area.
He indicated that the project was focused on assisting students from less-privileged schools in the area, adding that the scholarship scheme was subject to review based on response from the beneficiaries.
Source & Photo Credits: Graphiconline.com | Felix A. Baidoo | AnglogoldAshanti