06.10.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana to increase jewellery production and value

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Accra, Oct.6, GNA - Goldfields, Ghana, the second largest gold mining company in the country is to provide 617 million cedis loan facility to support players in the industry to help improve value and increase the local production of jewellery.

Dubbed, "Gold Loan", Goldfields Ghana, through the College of Jewellery in the country, would provide an interest-free loan of 15 million cedis to students of the College who hail from the Mining Company's catchment areas in the Western Region.

Sealing the agreement at a signing ceremony in Accra, Mr Brendan Walker, Managing Director of Goldfields, said the amount could purchase five kilograms of gold and beneficiaries would be given a year with three months moratorium to repay.

He said the project was mainly to support the efforts of the College, which currently with ultra-modern equipment has trained 240 students in jewellery manufacturing under the auspices of the United States International Development Agency (USAID).

Mr Walker said his office was impressed with the equipment at the College, which included computer aided modelling capabilities and a laboratory with state of the art jewellery and lapidary tools.

He said the support would help the College enhance its capacity to manufacture good quality gold jewellery and the training of Ghanaians. Mr Walker announced that, the production of the jewellery was just one step, therefore, Goldfields would also look for partnership in the area of marketing, which was crucial in the success of the project. Mr Kwame Kwamuar, Principal of the Jewellery College, said the intervention would enable beneficiaries to turn five per cent of Ghana's gold production into jewellery every year.

He said the college had decided to offer 15 million cedis scholarships every academic year to needy but brilliant students from the catchment areas of Goldfields Ghana.

On marketing, he said the College intended to introduce the industry into the international scene and announced two major exhibitions soon to be organised in the UK and the United States of America.

Mr Kwamuar said there would be a rapid growth in all aspects of the sector if the skills of the 240 trained personnel were turned out into an industry.

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