Nevertheless, the government in collaboration with various stakeholders has been hard at work to mitigate this through various innovative initiatives that have further spearheaded the growth of sustainable entrepreneurial practices amongst Tanzanians.
It is with this regard that Barrick Company has taken the initiative to support government’s efforts to support and encourage the growth of entrepreneurship within the community in which it operates through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Through its CSR initiatives, Barrick has been enabling entrepreneurs within its vicinity by providing training on practicing sustainable entrepreneurship as well as bankrolling their entrepreneurial initiatives.
One of the entrepreneurs from Bugarama village in Shinyanga Region, Clementina Felix, a mother of two said for many years, women in her village have been dependent and facing financial challenges.
However, she said ever since Barrick started helping and bankrolling their entrepreneurship initiatives them they have now experienced financial freedom whereas they are now practicing entrepreneurship through modern farming and animal husbandry.
We used to practice agriculture and animal husbandry without the appropriate skills for agro-business and we ended up with no profits from our hard labour, so we are grateful for Barrick for introducing a program that aims to support economic initiatives of more than 200 residents of villages in the vicinity of its mine, said Felix.
Another beneficiary of Barricks’ CSR program, Berita Nyawanga, a resident of Mwiguru ward where the mining company has its CSR foot, commended the efforts done by Barrick and urged the company to continue supporting entrepreneurs in the areas especially women and youths who are highly affected by the rate of unemployment.
Community Manager for Barrick at the Bulyanhulu mine, Anthony Sebastian said the mining company is implementing the program to empower entrepreneurs as part of its CSR in the vicinity surrounding the mine, adding that they are keen to improve welfare of the people surrounding the mine by giving them entrepreneurial skills as well as educating them on best practices for modern agriculture and animal husbandry.
We are of the view that entrepreneurship, agriculture and animal husbandry can provide employment as well as improve people economic welfare, and this is why we created this program that would enable people from various wards surrounding the mine to benefit, he said.
Sebastian noted that to ensure that the program is sustainable, the mining company has been sponsoring entrepreneurship trainings every week whereas villagers would gather and attend trainings facilitated by specialists in entrepreneurship on how to effectively conduct their economic activities and for those who practice agricultural activities also given fertilizer and seeds.
Apart from training them, Barrick has been enabling them to attend business related expo like the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair and others where they get to showcase their products, search for markets and increase their skills on entrepreneurship from others.
Barrick has in place other community projects such as health, education and environment, which benefit its surrounding communities.
Sebastian mentioned some of the community projects implemented by Barrick Bulyanhulu as the construction of classrooms at Bulyanhulu secondary school and Kakola primary school, construction of dormitories for girls at the Bugarama secondary school, facilitating the purchase of an X-ray machine for Bugarama medical centre, as well as improving the morgue. In implementing these entire project, the mining company has spent a total of 1bn/-.
He expressed his gratitude for the support the mining company receives from the local government in overseeing implementation of community projects in the area, pledging that Barrick will continue to support government’s efforts in mitigating socio-economic challenges.