Eramet and Gabon: an enduring partnership
Eramet has been operating in Gabon since 1953 via its subsidiary, Compagnie minière de l'Ogooué (Comilog), and since 2003 via Société d'Exploitation du Transgabonais (Setrag). Over the decades, these strong roots have led to the development of an ambitious employee policy. At the same time, the Group has made a decisive contribution to the country's economic development, both through its business activities as well as its support for numerous partnership and sponsorship projects.
A new milestone was reached in 2018. As part of its new CSR roadmap, Eramet has developed a program of long-term commitments, staggered over several years, in order to support the Gabonese communities located near its operations. One of the core components of this ambition is a special focus on young people.
In 2018, more than 80% of the 7.4 million euros that the Group devoted to social initiatives that year went to Gabon.
35 million euros have been pledged to local communities by Comilog for the 2018–2020 period. This money will help refurbish the main roads in Moanda, renovate 95 classrooms and 7 schools in Moanda, and improve local employability, among other initiatives.
In line with the Group's desire to focus on youth work, in 2018 Comilog and Setrag took steps to support nearly 12,000 young people in Gabon through internships, apprenticeship contracts and support for educational institutions.
Building community dialogue
Comilog engages in regular dialogue with local communities, particularly via village chiefs and neighborhood chiefs in Moanda. In order to redouble its social commitments, Comilog consulted with local stakeholders in 2018, with the goal of collectively identifying development priorities. The results of these discussions were incorporated into the three-year CSR plan launched in 2018. Additional consultations are being conducted to determine the major pillars of the new community investment strategy, which will take over from the three-year plan.
Making education a priority
In a country where 37% of the population is under 14, education is a crucial issue. Eramet subsidiaries support Gabonese youth in various ways (e.g. donations of school supplies and computer equipment, funding for classroom renovations, etc.). In addition, Comilog fully subsidizes the Henri Sylvoz school complex in Moanda (900 students), while Setrag helps provide school transportation for more than 400 students. Other initiatives include free electricity for schools in Mbel, Ndjolé, Lopé, and Lastourville.
Pitching in where we're needed
Comilog and Setrag have leveraged this vital connection with Gabonese stakeholders in order to implement various projects and initiatives. Targeted programs include:
- Employment opportunities: an annual subsidy for the Ecole des Mines et de la Métallurgie de Moanda (E3MG), professional training programs in construction and civil engineering for 250 young people, a training and professional development center for the rail industry in Franceville, etc.
- Healthcare: funding for Marcel Abéké Hospital in Moanda (free care provided to company employees and their dependents, moderately priced care provided to neighboring communities), an HIV-AIDS program, free consultations and healthcare for neighboring communities in the seven health centers near the SETRAG rail line, etc.
- Sports: subsidies for the Mangasport associations (soccer, basketball, volleyball, judo, taekwondo, etc.), which benefit 800 association members, a majority of them young people.
- Infrastructure: refurbishments for the main roads in Moanda, free connections for hundreds of households to the Setrag electrical grid, refurbishments for public fountains, etc.
Comilog works to preserve biodiversity at Lékédi Park, which is managed by its subsidiary, Société d’Exploitation du Parc de la Lékédi (SODEPAL). A safe haven for a number of local species, including gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills, Old World monkeys, forest buffalos, bushpigs, duikers and African painted dogs, this 14,000-ha protected reserve plays an important role in Gabon, where it educates the public about the environment and preserving biodiversity.