Obuasi is one of the cities in West Africa where gold has been mined for centuries. If there should be development in infrastructure like schools, ultra modern hospitals,shopping malls etc. no city in Ghana deserves better than the Obuasi which has supplied gold for Ghana over 100 years and counting. Where did Obuasi go wrong ?
Obuasi is a sister city of Johannesburg in South Africa. This is because, gold has been mined in these cities for centuries. But comparing these two cities would make a person cry.
Johannesburg also known as Jozi,Joburg and eGoli) is the largest city in South Africa and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.It is the provincial capital of Gauteng , which is the wealthiest province in South Africa.
While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade. Johannesburg is very developed and can be compared to many cities in Europe.
But in the case of Obuasi, nothing can be written about. Gold mine in Obuasi has been the major source of income for Ghana for years. It was in 2007 when a new constituency was created for the city. A whole city like Obuasi was having only one representative in parliament!
Yes, I know many people would be surprised about this. Just recently the city has two parliamentary representation.
From 2003 to 2013,Obuasi produced the best students in Ghana in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations conducted by WAEC for that 30 year period. There is no big Senior High school or university that a person from Obuasi haven’t completed
Inspite of this, our leaders couldn’t provide any tertiary institution in the city. The only University for Mines and Technology in Ghana is not in Obuasi, it’s in Tarkwa, another mining city in Ghana. Meanwhile, gold was mined in Obuasi before Tarkwa.
Moreover, Obuasi has supplied gold than any city in Ghana. There is no public College of Education, nursing institution or university in Obuasi :a city which gold has been exploited for centuries.
It is very shameful that, Obuasi cannot boast of government tertiary institution. How sad! Apart from the mining company which was shut down almost two years ago because of the over exploitation of gold, there is no factory in the city which has fed the country since the time of colonialism.
Surprisingly,there is no interchange in the city.The road network is very bad. There is only 2 traffic lights in the whole city.
Because of the greedy and selfish nature of some individuals who have enriched themselves with the proceeds, they decided not to allow the city have a traditional ruler who can influence development for the people. Have you ever heard of the name of the King of Obuasi before? This should remind you of something.
After shutting down Anglogold for sometime now, unemployment has risen in the city and the innocent youth have resorted to illegal mining for their survival. This illegal mining is very dangerous and the vulnerable youth have been doing this for living because there is no job in the city.
After 100+ years of gold mine, the number of rivers destroyed by the mining company, the toxic released into the atmosphere with it’s health implications,the people of Obuasi are still wallowing in abject poverty.
The youth of Obuasi are very frustrated. I interviewed a young man on my way to the Accra station. This man revealed that, now the mining company has started operation but employment is given to outsiders and because of that, they are about to stage a peaceful demonstration to demand a quota for employment in the company.
Our leaders have failed Obuasi. If any leader should visit Johannesburg, they should bow their head in shame because Obuasi could have become better than Johannesburg.
They have allowed the foreigners to exploit the gold and use to develop their countries leaving the hub of mining in a very deplorable state. Water bodies have been destroyed. There has been shortage of water in Obuasi since my day as a student almost a decade ago.
Leaders are only interested in picking the gold to South Africa with their military helicopters every week. Nothing good has been given back to the people of Obuasi except the malaria control programme which I even think it’s as a result of their own mining activity.
Currently, Dubai has become a major attraction to tourists because, one leader stood for the people. The major turning point in the history and fortunes of Dubai was the discovery of oil in 1966.Coupled with the joining of the newly independent country of Qatar and Dubai to create a new currency, the Riyal,after the devaluation of the Persian Gulf rupee which had been issued by the Government of India,it enabled Dubai to rapidly expand and grow. Once the first shipment of oil was made in 1969, the future of Dubai as an autonomous state was secured,and its ability to dictate policy in later years to the UAE was cemented.
It’s very shameful to compare the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra, Ghana to the beauty of Dubai. Most of our leaders visit Dubai for vacation. If they had developed Obuasi with the money made from gold export, there wouldn’t be any need to visit Dubai.
It’s very sad to know how leadership has failed Obuasi.
But I believe Obuasi will not die.
By Kenneth Gyamerah.