Encouraged by the success of its corporate social responsibility in the country, AngloGold Ashanti, a Ghana stock exchange listed gold miner, has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with the Global Fund, the Swiss-based international funding agency, to extend its anti-malaria control to 40 districts in the Upper East and West, Ashanti, Western and Northern regions of Ghana, come January 2010.
As part of the deal, the Global Fund would provide $130 million funding, while AngloGold Ashanti does the implementation.
The deal was signed for AngloGold Ashanti by Keith Faulkner, the company's Vice President, and Mark Wallis and Frank Boateng of Global Fund.
AngloGold Ashanti, which owns and manages Iduapriem and Obuasi mines, said it was joining the Global Fund, an international organisation dedicated to HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria eradication, to fight malaria, which is killing hundreds of Ghanaians, mostly children and pregnant women, on a daily basis.
Mark Willis, who is the Portfolio Manager of Global Fund, confirmed in his speech during the signing ceremony in Accra, with: “AngloGold Ashanti was granted the funding because of its success in fighting malaria in Obuasi,” saying “AngloGold Ashanti is the second in the world, but first in Africa to be given Global Fund grant in support of malaria eradication.”
AngloGold Ashanti, which is regarded as the corporate leader in the anti-malaria fight in Africa, says: “It is the number one source of mortality and absenteeism, and remains the most significant public health to, not only AngloGold Ashanti, but everybody in Ghana.”
The AngloGold Ashanti Manager in charge of the Malaria Control Programme, Steve Knowles, said: “a malaria control programme was the best example of a sustainable corporate social responsibility programme for a company operating in a malaria endemic area; with a win-win for the company and community.”
He noted that as a result of the company's malaria programme at Obuasi, which was implemented jointly with the National Malaria Control, Noguchi Institute and the Obuasi Municipal Assembly in 2006, absenteeism amongst schoolchildren and workers, had markedly reduced, thus resulting in an increase in productivity and reduction in medical costs.
The company's record shows that since 2006 to January this year, malaria has reduced in the Obuasi Municipality by 74%.
Mr. Knowles noted that about 3,800 Ghanaians, mainly in the Northern, Upper East and West regions, would-be employees, during the implementation stage did the work, adding that Obuasi would continue to be the “headquarters of programme,” and zonal offices would be set up at Wa, Novrongo and Tamale, to provide jobs for 3,800 people in four years, with most of them recruited in the northern regions of Ghana.