By: Nicholas Osei-Wusu
This year’s edition of the ‘Obuasi Trade Show’ has been launched with 250 indigenous businesses and traders within the Adansi traditional area expected to take advantage to showcase their products and services at no financial cost to themselves.
This year’s edition of the Obuasi Trade Show or ‘O.T.S.’ will be the 6th since the initiative began and forms part of the 10-year Socio-Economic Development Programme to diversify the economy of Obuasi in particular and the Adansi traditional area in general as an assurance of sustained vibrant local economy against eventualities within the gold production industry.
This is to avert a recurrence of the collapsed local economy when AngloGold Ashanti was almost shut down as a result of unfavourable situations within the national and international markets beginning in 2014.
This year’s OTS, scheduled from 20th to 25th of December, 2023, is providing the biggest trade opportunity for an expected 250 indigenous businesses to exhibit their vast range of products and services free of charge.
It is being organized by a consortium led by Ghana Enterprise Agency, GEA and including AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Municipal Assembly, Obuasi East and Akrofuom Districts Assemblies, the Obuasi Traders Association, Local Contractors Association and others with AngloGold Ashanti providing funding.
The Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Land Management of AngloGold Ashanti, Edmund Oduro, said the Mine’s interest is to contribute towards building a resilient and socio-economically self-sustaining local economy beyond operations of the Obuasi Mine.
“We recognize the importance of businesses and entrepreneurs. Through strategic partnership and investment, we aim to stimulate growth on various sectors within Obuasi local economy to nurture vibrant and self-reliant community”, he emphasized.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency’s Director for the Obuasi Municipality, Obuasi East and Akrofuom districts, Louis Agyei Twum, explained that, the Trade Show, which was initiated by his outfit and adopted by AngloGold Ashanti in its 10-yr socio-economic Development Programme, aside from helping to diversify the local economy, aims also to create an opportunity for the local businesses to grow their enterprises through promotion and networking for local, national and international patronage.
Mr. Twum, said, apart from allowing the Exhibitors to showcase their products and services free of charge, they will also be given free training on customer care and business communications to boost their businesses after the event.
The Akrofuom District Chief Executive, Dr. Maurice Woode, emphasized that, with the needed support, the private sector will not only be the fulcrum of Ghana’s economic progress, but also a major creator of sustainable jobs for the youth.
Dr. Woode said “for most of the developed economies around the world, the private sector made a crucial contribution, not the government. We can’t over depend on the government for employment. It is a well positioned private sector that can generate the needed jobs.”
This year’s OTS is on the theme: “Harnessing Our Creative Potential to Diversify the Local Economy of Obuasi.”