BURKINA FASO - IamGold Corp. and Plan Canada, both based in Toronto, have embarked on a five-year program that IamGold calls "an innovative Canadian public-private partnership." The aim is to give African youth greater access to better education and job readiness training.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).has agreed to support the project with funding of $5.65 million. IamGold and Plan Canada are jointly contributing $1.92 million. This creates one of the largest public-private partnerships with an extractive company in CIDA's history.
"Our first commitment is to the best interests of children and the communities in which we work," said Rosemary McCarney, president and CEO of Plan Canada. "We believe that NGOs and the private sector have different but important roles to play in ensuring that major economic investments by Canadian companies translate into a pattern of development that benefits all. Our partnership with IamGold will create safe training and decent work opportunities for youth in Burkina Faso."
The project has multiple goals. It will focus on information technical and vocation training for youth from 13 to 18 years old in two regions of the country. It will support those youths who go forward to professional training. It aims to double professional secondary education enrolment and graduation rates. Life skills training will be provided to help youth make the transition to the job market and self-employment. There will be a strong emphasis on girls. Lastly, the program is intended to showcase a CSR partnership that brings together industry, civil society and the governments of Canada and Burkina Faso.
Steve Letwin, president and CEO of IamGold, said, "The partnership demonstrates how responsible businesses can take an active role and form working relationships with non-profit organizations to help improve the lives of children and the economies of the developing world. This project has received strong support from the government of Burkina Faso and was developed in collaboration with local and regional authorities throughout the country."
IamGold (www.IamGold.com) is a mid-tier gold miner that operates the Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso, the Rosebel gold mine in Suriname, the Sadiola and Yatela gold mines in Mali, the Doyon gold mine in Quebec, and the Niobec niobium mine, also in Quebec.
Founded in 1937, Plan Canada (www.PlanCanada.ca) is one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies. It sole goal is to improve the lives of children.