Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

15 February 2013

Namibia: It's Good Bye From Anglo but Not AU Revoir

Mining conglomerate, Anglo American, through the Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF), committed an initial US$3 million in 2009 and a further US$3.5 million in 2010, to social investment projects, and then disinvested its interest in Skorpion Zinc in December 2010.

Yet, the Anglo American Namibia Foundation continues to act as a social investment vehicle for the company. Anglo American is still dual-listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

David Bentley, Chairperson of the Foundation notes that Anglo American's continued Corporate Social Investment (CSI) efforts in Namibia are linked to its overall Group philosophy.

"Anglo American firmly believes in responsible stewardship throughout the mining lifecycle, from exploration through to operation, and finally to closure or in some instances, divestment. The work that the Foundation has completed in the form of development projects will ultimately ensure that previous host communities will continue to socially and materially develop for the better, despite the fact that our company no longer operates there."

A noteworthy CSI initiative that the Foundation implemented in the Karas region is the U-OA Mathematics project. Through a series of workshops, this initiative aims to train teachers and subsequently use them as mentors. When the model is fully operational, each learning group will eventually take responsibility for continuous teacher development.

The AANF has also given a grant of N$679,000 to the Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) artisan training school, which was directed towards the completion of a multi-purpose hall and a ladies' hostel, as well as the establishment of a training workshop for bricklaying and plastering. Subsequently, this funding has equipped NIMT with better resources to uplift, educate and train Namibian youth.

The Rise to Shine Project also has made a real difference in furthering health in Namibian communities, by prioritising sex education. The project was established to promote safe and healthy relationships that would lead to HIV free communities, and raise awareness through discussions, open talks, workshops, and seminars.

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