In addition to employment, we create economic opportunities in our supply chain, and more broadly we deliver revenue to the Government of Guinea. We also make contributions beyond our core business to improve the quality of life in both local communities and nationally.
We recognise that the development of a competitive and effective local supply chain is vital both for the economic growth of the Boké region and the long-term success of our business. We are working with local entrepreneurs and Government to build the capacity we need. We are realistic about the scale of this task as local capacity constraints mean that the Guinean mining sector has always relied upon imported materials, equipment and expertise
Guinea Alumina Corporation prioritises, wherever possible, local sourcing of goods and services. That means from the people living in the immediate vicinity of our operations, then from the Boké region, and then from the rest of the country.
To enable local businesses to tender more effectively for contracts, we have developed a specialist training program to assist these companies to reach the quality and integrity standards we require.
Over half of the total number of supply contracts we have awarded, have been won by Guinean companies. The total value of these contracts is over US$ 6 million.
This is significant in the local economy and a source of pride for us. However all too often the goods and services we require are not available in the Republic of Guinea. We are using our resources to start to address this social challenge through the training of individuals and support for the development of entrepreneurial organisations.
Since 2014, GAC has trained, at the Boké Vocational Training Centre, over 500 young people in skills that directly support our construction and mining activities, such as maintenance, welding, and electrical services. We have financed 40 micro-projects including small start-up businesses.
In addition, GAC encourages local businesses that provide us and our contractors with services that range from transport to the provision of food, accommodation and construction materials. In addition, we train these local entrepreneurs on what they need to do in order to apply to become GAC providers.
Beyond supplying our own needs, some of the infrastructure we are developing will also enable other businesses to develop. GAC has invested US$ 49 million to build a container terminal at Kamsar port to unload construction material and equipment.
When construction of our project is complete this facility will be available for general trade, such as the export of agricultural products, thereby contributing to the development of the broader economy in the Boké region. The nearest container terminal at present is in Conakry.
GAC also makes various contributions as a corporate citizen beyond its core business.
From 2014 to 2016, we spent US$ 3.4 million on local community development. GAC has built five health centres, we have provided safe drinking water through the construction of 26 wells, and built nine schools that benefit more than 5,500 children.
GAC has implemented health awareness campaigns, including providing basic medical training to more than 175 communities on first aid, hygiene, malaria HIV/AIDS, maternal health and breast cancer.
During the Ebola crisis, GAC provided financial support for UNICEF’s awareness program to curb the spread of Ebola in Guinea. GAC also helped boost the capacity of health care facilities in Kamsar, to enable the World Health Organisation to better manage the Ebola crisis.
GAC has enhanced food security in neighbouring communities through agricultural projects, as well as training young farmers. These include providing support to develop watering systems using solar pumping devices, fencing and other enhancements to agricultural practices. Over 3,000 fruit trees have been planted as part of these projects.
More than 1,800 people have participated in our adult literacy programme and the financial aid that we provide to income-generating activities. We have provided some 60 young people with training in computer literacy programs and we have sent 12 young people for sustainable agro-pastoral training at the Agriculture Institute of Koba.
At the national level, we have constructed Guinea’s first medical centre focused on sickle cell anaemia, which is prevalent amongst the Guinean population. We also support other initiatives and social investments, including sponsorship support for the Guinea Mines Symposium, Forum on Domestic Resources Mobilisation, Conakry-World Book Capital, 72 Hours of the Book, and donations to other local charities.
Copies of the ESIAs can also be viewed on: https://disclosures.ifc.org/#/projectDetail/ESRS/24374