Five communities in the Western North Region and one in the Greater Accra Region are to benefit from Cargill’s educational infrastructure projects after the thorough needs assessment.
Three primary schools, two kindergarten blocks, and one junior high school are being constructed across Fahiakobo, Lineso, Fojourkrom, Juabo and Afofiekrom, all in cocoa-growing districts in the Western North Region.
The remaining beneficiary community is Adjei Kojo in the Tema West constituency, close to Cargill’s processing plant.
The project is executed in partnership with CARE International will see about 700 children have access to education.
The initiative, which forms part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility, started in 2019 and aims to improve the incomes and living standards of farmers and residents in the community.
At a groundbreaking ceremony at Adjei Kojo, Managing Director of Cargill Ghana Limited, Aedo van der Weij said he was excited to see the project kick start despite some delays.
“Education is the foundation on which the future is being built. It is really the enabler of sustainable economic empowerment, growth and resilience,” he said.
The company believes stakeholders, including government, have created the enabling environment for its existence in Ghana in the last 12 years.
Delivering her keynote address, Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Opare underscored the importance of cocoa to the country’s socio-economic advancement.
She said a sustainable cocoa sector is key on the agenda of all stakeholders in the value chain, which can be effectively realized through the provision of life-changing facilities such as schools.
“We hope that through Cargill’s school project, children in beneficiary communities will receive quality primary education.”
Deputy Education Minister Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, who represented the sector minister, indicated that the ministry will support Cargill in its drive by way of deploying qualified teachers to these schools upon completion.
According to him, government continues to invest in infrastructure provision.
“The duty of serving humanity is when all come together, particularly the private sector, to augment the efforts of government, and that is why I am particularly excited about Cargill’s initiative of investing into education.”
He said Cargill’s project will increase access to quality education.
“In alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal 7, the opportunity for access to quality education for all has been created through this Cargill project, and no one will be left behind,” he added.
Member of Parliament for Tema West Constituency, Carlos Ahenkorah was grateful for the project as this will lessen the burden of pupils who walk about four miles to attend the only public school in the area.
On her part, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan’s message dwelt on the sustained bilateral relationship between the two countries and collaboration between government and the private sector.
“Cargill works with 156 cocoa-growing communities in Ghana to advance education access, child protection, community governance, food security and nutrition.”
According to her, USAID in 2019 invested $158 million in partnership with Ghana while direct investment had $1.6 billion.
Netherland’s Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, touched on the importance of sustained quality cocoa production.
Meanwhile, the primary school project for the community will be completed by the close of the year.
Chiefs, among other dignitaries, were present to witness the groundbreaking ceremony.
Source: Joy News