From Frederick Danso Abeam .
The firstever Obuasi Clients Exhibition and Trade Show, aimed at showcasing the handiwork of the people within Obuasi and its environs, has been opened.
The programme is a partnership between the two assemblies in Obuasi and AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine, and operationalised by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
Over 200 individuals, groups and associations are taking part in the weeklong show under the theme: ”Promoting Made in Ghana Products”, with AngloGold Ashanti as the main sponsor.
Speaking at the function, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Madam Kosi Yankey, said she was delighted over the organisation of the trade show, and expressed her appreciation to all those who made it possible for the programme to materialise.
She stated: “I am happy to see the success story of Obuasi being told with the display of various items produced by the people of the mining town themselves,” and assured them that the NBSSI will continue to support micro small scale enterprises in Obuasi.
Madam Yankey announced that the NBSSI was training 4,800 youth from the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Greater Accra regions to acquire skills in various fields under the Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Programme (YEEP).
The Sustainability Manager of AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi mine, Nana Ampofo-Bekoe, stated that AngloGold Ashanti, in the course of the year, will launch an Enterprise Development Programme (EDP), under which Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Obuasi will be picked and given training to build their capacities.
He explained that the capacity building for the SMEs will prepare them adequately to enable them employ people, in addition to the direct and indirect employment that will be offered by AngloGold Ashanti.
The result, he said, is that the economy of Obuasi will be diversified and become vibrant, and gave the assurance that if everything goes on as expected, the company will continue to sponsor future trade shows and make it a yearly affair.
Mr. Elijah Adansi Bona, Obuasi MCE, noted that if Ghana Beyond Aid could materialize, then SMEs should be encouraged to improve upon their performance to help diversify the economy of the country.
He commended Sinapi Aba Trust Savings and Loans Limited for supporting the Municipal Assembly to train some youth to acquire skills.
Madam Faustina Amissah, Obuasi East DCE, on her part, stressed that apart from Obuasi being associated with gold internationally, it is important to also associate Obuasi with other fields of human endeavour, hence the need for the trade show, for residents to showcase what they can also do with their hands.