It was all joy in the Mining town of Obuasi yesterday, 22nd January, 2019 when the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo joined the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in a colorful ceremony to re-open the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
Residents of Obuasi, the Information Service Department interviewed could not hide their joy over the comeback of A.G.A. In what could be best described as a sigh of relief, residence of Obuasi thanked His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo for honoring the promise he made to the people of Obuasi during the electioneering campaign in 2016. He made the promise to the effect that he will see to the revival of the Obuasi Mine once voted into power.
Mr. Eric Akaadom, the Chairman of the Private Schools Association in Obuasi and the proprietor of Saint Augustine Preparatory School, Obuasi said the re-opening of Anglogold Ashanti could be termed as “Independence day” for the people of Obuasi.He said private schools in Obuasi were the hardest hit when Anglogold Ashanti was shut down somewhere in 2014. “Most of the workers who had their wards in the private schools had to relocate so they had to go with their children”.
He was however upbeat about the effect of the comeback of Anglogold Ashanti on the fortunes of private schools in Obuasi. Mr.Akaadom, who has done extensive research on the effective of the shutdown of Anglogold Ashanti on the economy of Obuasi, said the comeback of A.G.A means more jobs would be created in Obuasi and people will bring their children to the private schools.
Musah Karim, Yeboah Pious Mensah, Isaac Offei and Emmanuel Osei Appiah, all graduates from the country’s tertiary institutions expressed delight over the news of the re-opening of Anglogold Ashanti. They said the shutdown of the Anglogold Ashanti had a negative impact on the lives of the people of Obuasi. They alluded to the fact that the lack of employment contributed to a surge in reported cases of armed robbery and other social vices in Obuasi. They appealed to Anglogold Ashanti to abide by the local content law which has been trumpeted by the mining company.
Prince Kwame Aboagye, a Youth Activist and the Convenor of Obuasi Must Not Die Movement praised the Government for putting measures in place to ensure that the much anticipated comeback of Anglogold Ashanti see the light of day. He appealed the A.G.A to abide by the local content law. He said “once this is adhered to, the company would have a serene atmosphere and cooperation the company needs to operate with”.
The market women ISD interacted with at the Horsey Park Lorry Terminal and the Obuasi Central Market were also excited about the news of A.G.A comeback. They however appealed to the Government to create room for those engaged in “galamsey” in Obuasi to operate under strict supervision. They were of the view that, since A.G.A cannot employ everybody in Obuasi, those who would not be privileged to work in the Mine should be given concession to operate a “regulated galamsey” in Obuasi.