The road which is said to last for 20 years was rehabilitated out of the benevolence of the company over a period of three years at a cost of $27 million.
The government of Ghana over decades have received criticisms by citizens most especially in the Prestea Huni-valley and Tarkwa Nsuem Municipalities over the deplorable state of the road.
Back ground of the company
Gold Fields is one of the largest private sector companies in Ghana, having 90% ownership in both the Tarkwa and Damang gold mines, with the Government of Ghana owning the remaining 10% through a free-carried interest.
Gold Fields took over the Tarkwa mine from the State Gold Mining Company, (SGMC) in 1993 and acquired the Damang mine in 2002. The company also owns half of Asanko Gold Ghana.
Gold Fields efforts at contributing to communities and the country have been recognized through a number of awards and recognition over the years.
In 2018, Gold Fields emerged Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company of the Year at the prestigious Ghana Club 100 Awards. The company’s Tarkwa mine was adjudged the Second Largest Company of the Year, and was also ranked third among the 100 best companies in Ghana at the event which was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
Gold Fields has contributed significantly to the development of the country through taxes, community investments, employment and local enterprise development. Set up in 2004, the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has invested over US$87 million in community development programmes and projects, particularly in education, health, agriculture, water and sanitation as well as infrastructure.
The company also supported the senior men’s national football team, the Black Stars, with a sponsorship package of US$15 million between 2005 and 2012.
Since Gold Fields started surface mining operations in 1998, the company has paid over US$1.2 billion in taxes and royalties, as well as dividend of US$107.3 million to the government. In 2015 and 2017, the Tarkwa mine was adjudged the second largest tax payer in Ghana.
The mine had previously been named the largest tax payer in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Gold Fields’ shared value initiative ensures that, stakeholders adequately benefit from the value that is created through its operations.
Speaking to the media at a ceremony to commission the road,the deputy minister of lands and natural resources Benito Owusu Bio has Lauded the company for the rehabilitation of the road.According to him Goldfields Ghana has contributed greatly to the well being of Ghanaians.
Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields in West Africa Mr Alfred Baku said it is the company’s aim to make sure Ghana as a whole benefit from them.
According to him, “This road will have a significant and measurable impact in the lives of the people in our host communities. Apart from enhancing employment and income generation, this road cuts travel times by more than half and reduces the safety risks of travelling on a bad road,”.
The asphalt road, which costs over GHS145-million (US$27-million)and has a life span of over 20 years, links Tarkwa and Damang, two communities that host Gold Fields’ mines.
The road also serves several communities in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley municipalities. It is the largest-ever public infrastructure project funded by the global Gold Fields Group.
A baseline study conducted by Gold Fields in 2017 found that communities along the corridor, such as Abosso, Bompieso, Amoanda, Huni-Valley, Kyekyewere, Nyamebekyere, Damang and others will be positively impacted by the reconstructed road.
The road is expected to ease transportation of people, goods and services as well as boost economic activities in the area. Other anticipated socio-economic impacts include improved road safety, availability of pedestrian facilities such as bus stops, as well as reduction in dust pollution.Ghanaian contractors, who employed the vast majority of their workforce from the local communities, undertook the construction of the road.
The Ghana Highway Authority will manage and maintain the road.
Story: John Amarquaye