AFRICAN Barrick Gold (ABG) has donated some 150 desks to a primary school in Dar es Salaam worth $10,000 (approx. 16 million Tanzanian shillings), as part of its continued support to Tanzania’s education sector.
The donation to the Minazi Mirefu primary school in Ukonga Constituency, Dar es Salaam, was made yesterday through ABG’s Maendeleo Fund.
“The support to the school desks project in Kipawa constituency is part of African Barrick Gold’s continued commitment to contribute to sustainable development in Tanzania,” said ABG’s Director of Government Relations, Emmanuel Ole Naiko, at a ceremony for the handing over of the desks to the school.
“At African Barrick Gold, we believe that education is a key building block for success. It is a passport to a better future, and in places where economic opportunities are few, it can be a powerful tool in breaking the cycle of poverty. One of the most meaningful and lasting benefits that African Barrick Gold can provide to its host communities is the support for education.”
Naiko said access to good education was an essential element in the fight against poverty and inequality since education gives children and young people the power to transform their lives.
“We believe that education and economic progress go hand in hand. That is why ABG works closely with the Tanzanian government and host communities around its mines to support their priorities and programmes,,” he said.
The guest of honour at the event, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, applauded ABG for its donation of school desks to the school.
As part of its support to Tanzania’s education sector in communities near its mine sites and at the national level, ABG is helping to develop the infrastructure of schools, offering scholarships to encourage stronger school attendance and supporting various educational programmes aimed at creating a more skilled workforce in Tanzania’s mining sector.
To date, ABG has committed a significant amount of funds to support the refurbishment and building of a number of schools around its four gold-producing mines — Bulyanhulu, North Mara, Buzwagi and Tulawaka — and also supports several scholarship programmes at university level.
“ABG will continue to work with various partners and evaluate more opportunities to provide wider support for scholarships and other education initiatives, as part of its commitment to support inclusive social development in Tanzania,” said Ole Naiko.
In September 2011, African Barrick Gold announced the creation of the Maendeleo Fund, a community development fund that will contribute to a wide range of sustainable development projects in communities near ABG’s operations in Tanzania, as well as national initiatives.
The fund is the largest corporate community development fund of its kind in the country. Its $10 million annual budget more than tripled ABG’s annual spending on community development.