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 only 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. To date, Phosboucraa has delivered 7,000 man-days of training to more than 900 employees, 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 500 young local professionals over 24 months specifically in industrial processing, maintenance and civil engineering. These 500 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 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 will run over four years, will be staged in 6 and 9-month courses.
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.
The true Sahara
Phosboucraa Foundation collaborates with Sahara Camel Farmers Association to undertake research and promote best practices in camel breeding, health and value-addition. The primary program is the Phosboucraa Agricultural Caravan, which works with small livestock breeders and farmers across the region. Through workshops in different towns and settlements, the Caravan provides support, awareness, and training for over 350 farmers in each stop. Farmers interact with experts and get feedback and recommendations on specific topics, such as breeding management, animal health, nutrition and reproduction, farm management and the pricing of camel products, especially meat and camel milk. Experts are brought in from as far away as Australia to help the farmers. The Foundation also provides farmers with essential resources for times of hardship, such as medicine for when drought and illness strike.
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 Bayra| Sahara Camel Farmers Association and Phosboucraa Foundation partner