By staff reporter
AngloGold Ashanti joins over 1.2 billion Africans across the continent and in the diaspora in marking Africa Day at a time when the African Union (AU) is spearheading several initiatives aimed to combat the spread of COVID-19 and ensure Africa’s economic resilience.

The theme for this year’s Africa Day, “Silencing the Guns; creating a conducive environment for Africa's development” provides the a relevant framework to all stakeholders including governments, the private the sector, civil society and academia to join forces in the fight against the pandemic, ensuring that livelihoods are protected and keeping economic activity alive.

According to the AngloGold Ashanti- Chief Operating Officer for Africa, Sicelo Ntuli, the theme is in pursuance of the aspirations of Agenda 2063, which provides a developmental framework towards a the continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful.

“Other flagship projects include the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has come into force and which aims to boost intra-African trade.

“Africa’s leaders met and developed a comprehensive, continent-wide a response strategy to COVID-19 in March. The strategy aims to enhance collaboration and communication on COVID-19 by member states and partners, including Africa CDC, which specializes in efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases in AU member states,” he said.

He said the AngloGold Ashanti is committed to supporting the AU in its response strategy and is working in cooperation with the respective government programmes and stakeholders to roll out a series of hygiene and educational interventions at its sites and across communities.

“As a pan-African investor, AngloGold Ashanti operates in five countries across the continent and is a joint venture partner in a mine in a sixth. It employs more than 20 000 people including contractors. The Company continues to build its African operations, investing millions of dollars annually in sustaining and growing its portfolio on the African Continent.

“AngloGold Ashanti aims to support the countries in which we operate to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The company continues to work closely with governments and communities and has rolled out a number of interventions to keep people safe,” he said.

“AngloGold Ashanti congratulates all Africans on the occasion of Africa Day and will continue to work in partnership and support governments and communities where it operates,” he said.

He added that the company has introduced measures to slow the spread of the infection, stepping up screening and surveillance of employees, banning non-essential travel, instituting clear self-quarantine measures where applicable and increasing hygiene awareness and facilities across its operations.

“AngloGold Ashanti also has a range of humanitarian initiatives in place. It is committed to working with governments at all levels and a range of other stakeholders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

He said in South Africa, the company collaboration with expert, multidisciplinary teams from the provincial governments to make available two hospitals and ICU beds for their exclusive use as part of the frontline COVID-19 effort, donation of masks to provinces, municipalities and hospitals and pledged R20 million to the Solidarity Response Fund, which is supported by business, civil society and the South African government.

“Tanzania, Geita Gold Mining Limited (GGML) has committed Sh 1.6 billion to support the government of Tanzania in its efforts to curtail the spread of the virus. The Money will be directed to purchasing critical medical equipment and supplies for COVID 19 patients and personal protective gears for medical practitioners.

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