FOCUSING ON THE COMMUNITY
The lands of the Southern Regions are a harsh environment, being on the edge of the Sahara, with a population of approximately 600,000.
All profits earned in the region are re-invested in the Southern Regions. We are a major employer there, as OCP is for Morocco as a whole. As the region’s largest employer, we want to engage with our local communities, especially as they are vital to the long-term success of our business.
Our hope is that through the employment, upskilling and education of the communities there, we will contribute to create opportunities of progress and development – something which will, in the long run, benefit the entire country as well as stakeholders around Africa and the world.
We have made spectacular progress in training local communities, equipping them with the skills needed to thrive. Phosboucraa delivers 8.7 days of training per employee per year, in skills such as health & safety, mechanics and machinery, driving, teamwork, management and leadership.
In December 2015, we launched a program to hire and train 474 young local professionals over 24 months specifically in industrial processing, maintenance and civil engineering. These 474 youth were trained at OCP’s Industrial Competence Centers across Khouribga, Jorf Lasfar and Safi to meet the requirements of the three Phosboucraa business units: Mining, Beneficiation and Logistics.
We also partner with the ITA (Institut de Technologie Appliquée) in Laayoune to deliver further vocational and professional training. In addition, we have established a new program with the ITA and the Office of Vocational Training and Labor Promotion (OFPPT), another training school in Morocco, to offer industrial development training to more than 2,000 students. The program, which runs over four years, is staged in 6 and 9-month courses.
We have invested USD 10 Million in schools for our employees and the wider community, with over 1,340 students at primary and pre-school, and 560 students at middle and high school. The sense of community is something we aim to foster beyond our mines, whether through the work Phosboucraa has done with power supplies, fresh water, and new highways, enabling the local community to unlock their potential, or through the company’s initiative.
From community outreach, to healthcare and wellness, the strength of our communities is important to us.
We are proud to be Sahrawi, our people have lived in the desert for generations. It is in our soul. This land is a livelihood for many of us.
While most people in the Moroccan Sahara have moved to towns and cities, many still have an even deeper connection to the desert, living a Bedouin lifestyle. It is a life that we love.
In the desert tradition rules, and bonds established over centuries still rule, camels are our transportation, friends and then our food source.
I am truly happy. Without this program, I believe that it would be very hard to keep alive our traditions. We would lose our friends, our community, perhaps even ourselves.
Sidi Moulay Soubai | Camel breeder
Unless you are from the Sahara you can never quite believe it. It is a place where you need to do more than see to believe, you have to live to believe.
You can’t understand the connection that we feel with the land and these animals.
That may sound strange as we farm them, but camels are a symbol of our history. A link to our ancestors and their way of life.
Abdellatif Baira| Sahara Camel Farmers Association and Phosboucraa Foundation partner