AAMEG Africa Awards Showcase ESG Innovation and Leadership by the Australia Mining Sector
By AAMEG | 2 September 2022
2022 AFRICA AWARDS WINNERS:
- Best Workforce and Industry Development Initiative –Vaka Health Foundation
- Best Innovation in Corporate Social Development – West African Resources Ltd
- Emerging ESG Leader –Sarama Resources Ltd
The Australia Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) announced the winners from its fourth annual AAMEG Africa Awards at a ceremony on Thursday evening, hosted as part of the Africa Down Under Conference in Perth.
The Awards recognise Australian explorers, miners and industry service organisations that champion a transparent, equitable and mutually beneficial mineral resources industry in Africa, awarding visionary approaches that deliver long term benefits for the communities within which they operate.
Incoming judge and founding director of Beltz Mining – Nkandu Beltz – commented on her experience of the evaluation process, “It has been a privilege to highlight the great work Australian companies are doing on the Continent in pursuing the highest level of transparency and ethics in their international business.
It is these companies who offer inspiration to others with their perseverance and ‘first mover’ status in approaching an often-overwhelming set of challenges in delivering both shareholder value at the same time as creating a lasting legacy for host communities.”
The 2022 Awards received a record number of nominees and showcased remarkable stories of impact across a range of areas including: workforce development and training, education programs and infrastructure, and environmental management.
Vaka Health Foundation took out the title of ‘Best Workforce and Industry Development Initiative’ for its innovative mobile technology platform delivering education and technical training for nurses and midwives across eastern and southern Africa. Its partnership with Adavale Resources will see the mining company sponsor the Ngara District Hospital via a Hospital Training Program for nurses using a hybrid model of online learning and in person certification, addressing the challenge of skills shortages in the districts.
The award for ‘Best Innovation in Corporate Social Development’ was won by West African Resources Ltd (ASX: WAF) for its investment in education to achieve improved community outcomes in Burkina Faso. WAF delivered a wide range of educational initiatives – including the construction of new classrooms, installation of solar power, donation of furniture and equipment, and sponsorship of student scholarships and paid internship programs. They have made great strides in promoting the empowerment and financial literacy of local women through funded training programs.
Also of note, Australia for Cedar Tanzania made Africa Awards history, receiving a ‘Highly Commended’ award in this category for its Kilimu Bora (Smart Farming) initiative in rural Tanzania. Its successful farming pilot project encompassed training on the agricultural and business aspects of operating and managing a mushroom farm and achieved positive results for young women and vulnerable groups in the area.
‘Emerging ESG Leader’ winner Sarama Resources Ltd (ASX: SRR) was recognised for its Norkama Project, a community investment strategy centred on education, health and ecological initiatives in Burkina Faso. The project has seen student numbers at Norkama Primary School grow by more than 150% and female participation moving up to 50%. In early 2022, a distribution of 40 feet of educational and medical supplies reached 1,600 students in surrounding communities as well as several regional clinics. This success has been underpinned by ongoing facility upgrades at the school, an organic market garden and a school canteen program.
AAMEG Chief Executive Officer – Roger Staley said, “I am extremely proud to witness the growing reputation of our Awards program and the diversity of nominee structures and profiles it attracts including not for profits, explorers and producing majors.
This year’s outstanding field of nominees is testament to the industry’s tremendous commitment to the socioeconomic advancement of host communities and countries beyond simply employment and royalties.”
The Africa Awards are the only event of its kind to showcase the efforts of the Australian mining industry in Africa with a particular focus on innovation in the delivery of environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes.
The esteemed judging panel included Simon Fitzgerald (Senior Manager Towards Sustainable Mining – Minerals Council of Australia), Nkandu Beltz (Founder & Director – Beltz Mining), Cathy Galli (Director – Rescology), Sherif Andrawes (Global Head of Natural Resources & Partner Corporate Finance – BDO) and the return of Ben Gargett (Partner – PwC Australia, Melbourne).
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