Whether in Nigeria, Gabon or Cameroon, Addax Petroleum has established itself as a reliable social and economic player which is part of the local fabric, and works hand-in-hand with national and local governments, businesses, NGOs and communities alike, to support them in developing their capabilities.
We believe a positive impact can be created through a participatory and transparent approach. Our processes ensure that communities become full partners in our decision-making process and that our work is carried out transparently, in full accordance with governments’ local content policies and development plans.
Our Social Investment Policy stipulates that all Addax Petroleum community projects and donations should be reviewed, coordinated and approved at corporate level, and that they should be managed through a “General Memorandum of Understanding”: a multilateral partnership involving all stakeholders with a specific interest in the socio-economic or environmental issue at stake.
Drilling laboratories for Cameroonian universities: investing in tomorrow’s Oil & Gas talent
In a bid to improve the knowledge gap and increase the rate of qualified youth in the Cameroonian oil and gas industry, Addax Petroleum has embarked on an ambitious programme to donate state-of-the art drilling laboratories to the universities of Douala and Buea.
The programme is a win-win partnership between the academic sector and the oil industry and reinforces public-private partnerships. In February 2015, drilling laboratory equipment was donated to the Faculty of Industrial Engineering of the University of Douala to serve for the propulsion of boats and electrical control studies. In April 2015, a similar donation was made to the University of Buea, Faculty of Engineering and Technology. In addition, the best students of the Faculty were given the opportunity to train and acquire practical experience with the technical departments at Addax Petroleum in Cameroon during their entire training period. The Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Universities to ensure proper management of the equipment donated.
Protecting mangrove and coastal forest by increasing awareness on ecosystem preservation: developing a fish solar dryer initiative
In the coastal area of Rio del Rey in Cameroon, local communities are using traditional methods to produce dried fish, which result in consuming firewood, endangering coastal forest, and causing air pollution and respiratory diseases. Worse still, this smoky production process has serious aesthetic and hygienic consequences on the women who are the main actors involved in fish smocking, thus leading to family conflicts and separations.
The adoption of the Fish Solar Dryer initiative by Addax Petroleum aims at changing the mind-set of local people and introducing sustainable drying and conserving techniques to the community. The project initiated in 2012 is three-fold: it aims to replace the use of traditional ovens with solar ovens; to ensure mangrove tree and fuel wood regeneration; and lastly to improve the health, safety and working conditions of women.
In response to local expectations and promote a participatory approach, the fish solar initiative is being implemented in several phases, the objective being to provide a safe and sustainable working environment for all stakeholders and increase the income generated by the communities.
Supporting polytechnic schools and awarding scholarships: educating and training future talent
Addax Petroleum strives to build on the professional development of its employees and invest locally in education to support tomorrow’s Oil & Gas talent. In 2014, a structural partnership was established with the Polytechnic Masuku School. This programme allows the deployment of an exchange process, which includes the training of graduated students and the provision of educational support and technical equipment.
Sinopec set up a scholarship programme to the benefit of our operating company in Gabon, which aims to reveal potential employees able to take on a postgraduate course and obtain a doctorate in the oil and gas field. The first employee to be granted this scholarship is a subsurface engineer who will study at the Chinese University of Petroleum in Beijing.
This programme is a concrete example of our commitment to training and developing young local talent.
Providing independent access to health care: revamping a medical centre in Gabon
To provide independent access to medical care, Addax Petroleum as part of the Local Community Development Fund, initiated the revamping of the Mandji Medical Centre. The refurbishing work included the strengthening the entire building’s structure, the administrative block, the operating theatre, the hospitalisation room, the laboratory and the pharmacy. A new maternity ward was also entirely built and medical equipment was donated. Inaugurated in 2015, the renovated medical centre has an average capacity of 2,000 patients a year. This project has had a positive impact on the local communities’ life but also on the region as a whole.
During the revamping process, Addax Petroleum demonstrated its ability to mediate in complicated stakeholder relationships and establish links with local populations at all levels.
Training rural farmers on cassava production: lifting participants out of subsistence farming
CSR in the agri-food sector is harnessing innovations for a sustainable development. As part of its embedded community relation activities, Addax Petroleum partnered with the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) to train young farmers primarily on cassava (manioc equivalent) production in Nigeria.
In addition to offering participants a unique opportunity to enhance their economic and social status and lift them out of subsistence farming, the three main objectives of this programme are to train farmers on improved methods of cassava production to increase yield; build their capacity to start, manage and own agro-commercial businesses; and supply them with improved, high yielding and disease resistant cassava stems.
The training modules broadened farmers’ skills on diversified topics such as site selection, land preparation, planting methods, cassava farm-weed control, fertilizer application, root crops processing, herbicide and pesticide application and soil erosion. It also covered record-keeping and accounting, as well as safety standards in agricultural enterprises. Graduate farmers acknowledged that this learning experience was a stepping-stone to become entrepreneurs and transfer the knowledge acquired on new farming techniques to their entourage.
Developing education and improving skills and entrepreneurship: embedding the Technical Skills Acquisition Programme
Over the past years, there has been a growing awareness in Nigeria about the need for vocational and technical education. This improvement in societal perception and interest has culminated in demands for changes in content, organisation and delivery of vocational and technical curricular to reflect a new emphasis on technology. This type of education is aimed at developing not only practical skills but also attitudes and habits making the recipient a creative, innovative and resourceful person.
Addax Petroleum’s Technical Skills Acquisition Programme (TSAP) was designed with the objective to assist the youth of its host communities in achieving economic empowerment through skills acquisition. The programme aims at training the most talented candidates in their chosen vocation and providing them with the necessary support to help them set up their own businesses and create employment opportunities for others.
By encouraging micro entrepreneurship, the TSAP attempts to make the youth become independent and self-reliant, while contributing to the economic development of their communities. The programme provides alternatives to formal university education, exposing students to practical experience in various trades and professions, including building technology, welding and fabrication, auto electricity, computer studies, textile and weaving, as well as electrical installation. The TSAP is an all-expense covered programme as the Company is responsible for the entire costs: tuition fees, accommodation, training kits and a monthly stipend for each student. Each successful graduate also receives take-off grants and starter packs comprising the necessary tools. Since the launch of this programme in 2001, about 500 talented youth from Addax Petroleum communities in Nigeria were empowered through the TSAP.
Committed to local content
We are committed to the long-term economic development of the communities in which we operate. For this reason, local content – which we define as the development of local skills, technology, and the use of the local workforce and supply chain –is a specific focus of our community relations activities and one of our key priorities.
In particular, we understand the critical role that our talented and diversified workforce plays in our growth and we are proud to employ a high percentage of local nationals.
In addition to our policy of local hires, we have built up an extensive network of local contractors in each country. Through effective collaboration and robust partnerships, the Company has initiated and implemented projects that have consistently facilitated the use of local resources.