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OCP’s century of inclusive growth

In its 100 years of existence, OCP Group has worked hard to uplift the communities within its ecosystem in a cycle of inclusive growth.

OCP’s commitment to strengthen the social and economic development of its surrounding communities is not a stand-alone goal, rather, it is embedded in the Group’s strategy and is a key part of its history both in Morocco and abroad. Establishing mining settlements, which, over time, became entire towns, and employing more than 21,000 individuals around the world are only a couple of means for a company like OCP to serve people and the planet.

For example, the new town of Khouribga was founded in 1921, when OCP began its phosphate mining operations. The first buildings were constructed in 1922 and, within ten years, Khouribga became home to more than 5,000 Moroccan and 800 European workers. Today, Khouribga is a city with a population of 350,000 and an area of 52 km², the largest phosphate mining area in the world.

As a result of OCP’s presence and operations across Morocco, the Khouribga experience has been replicated in other areas for the benefit of local communities.

The OCP Foundation, established in 2007, is committed to sustainable development both in Morocco and internationally.

With the aim of creating shared value, the Group has also launched many initiatives that generate sustainable wealth and have a high social impact. Education, health, and entrepreneurship are all key areas in which OCP takes an interest and collaborates with various parties in its ecosystem to support.

Promoting access to health care and education

OCP has always set itself the goal of achieving a positive impact in and around its operating sites. Since it was founded in 1920, OCP Group has been a catalyst for social and economic progress and regional development. Over the years, this commitment has taken shape in the form of public interest initiatives in various fields such as health, education and sport across Africa.

OCP Group built its first hospital in Khouribga in 1930. Currently, the Group has more than 11 medical facilities and three hospitals in over six Moroccan cities, providing residents and communities with emergency, radiology, dialysis and general hospitalisation services. In 2019 alone, more than 400,000 treatments and consultations were performed in OCP’s Social-Medical Centres.

Providing children and young talent with education regardless of their base level is also a fundamental element of OCP’s strategy. Since 1974, when it was founded, the Institute for Socio-Education Promotion (IPSE) has highlighted the Group’s commitment to quality local education. Today, IPSE has 34 schools and welcomes the children of OCP employees but also those of families living around the Group’s sites. More recently, the Group created “1337” and “YouCode” coding schools which educate young people in the digital professions using an innovative pedagogical approach through “learning by doing”and “peer-to-peer learning”, and remain accessible to all without prior relevant knowledge, training or qualifications.

Providing children and young talent with education regardless of their base level is also a fundamental element of OCP’s strategy. Since 1974, when it was founded, the Institute for Socio-Education Promotion (IPSE) has highlighted the Group’s commitment to quality local education. Today, IPSE has 34 schools and welcomes the children of OCP employees but also those of families living around the Group’s sites. More recently, the Group created “1337” and “YouCode” coding schools which educate young people in the digital professions using an innovative pedagogical approach through “learning by doing”and “peer-to-peer learning”, and remain accessible to all without prior relevant knowledge, training or qualifications.

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The OCP Foundation, established in 2007, is committed to sustainable development both in Morocco and internationally. It focuses on integrated initiatives that contribute to the development of skills and the dissemination of knowledge, particularly through support for education, research and innovation. Since 2016, the OCP Foundation has sponsored more than 15,600 students from 31 Moroccan schools. In the Southern Regions of Morocco, the Phosboucraa Foundation, which was set up in 2014, has trained more than 15,000 young people at the Laayoune and Dakhla Learning Centres.

Another of OCP’s priorities is to promote sport, which is a powerful vector for the education and inclusion of young people. The Group’s commitment to sport began in 1923 with the establishment of the Olympique Club de Khouribga (OCK), which quickly became one of the country’s first multisport clubs. More recently, in 2019, OCP launched the Junior NBA (National Basketball Association) League in Morocco and Rwanda in partnership with the NBA. Currently, approximately 600 youngsters are enrolled and 40 coaches have been trained by the NBA teams.

Creating wealth within local ecosystems

By supporting local entrepreneurs and partners, the Group ensures that its service providers and, ultimately, its activities, are more competitive.

Two recent initiatives from OCP further demonstrate the Group’s contribution to the socio-economic progress of parties within its ecosystem.

The Act4Community scheme, launched in 2017, is designed to establish inclusive initiatives with local populations and stakeholders in several regions of Morocco. Since 2018, more than 5,500 employees have volunteered their time to work on a number of projects, such as the development of promising sectors like quinoa in Youssoufia, which span social, economic, cultural, sport and educational programmes. Act4Community also encourages the founders of local businesses, using the Group’s expertise as a lever for development.

The Al Moutmir programm for Moroccan agriculture supports the training of farmers by offering them a range of services to improve their yields. Its itinerant caravan system deploys demonstrations and workshops and provides innovative tools that customise and adapt fertilisers to different soils and crops. For the 2018-2019 crop year, the Al Moutmir caravans reached 10,000 farmers – including more than 1,000 women – in 28 provinces and 180 communities across Morocco.

Resilience against Covid-19

In times of crisis, a company’s commitment to support its local communities and partners becomes even more vital. At the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19, OCP and its employees mobilised, putting its significant resources, programmes and infrastructure (including social and medical facilities) to work in the battle against the new coronavirus. The OCP Group contributed 3 billion dirhams to the Special Fund for the Management of the Coronavirus Pandemic to support the Moroccan government in its efforts to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate any consequences for the economy.

OCP volunteers also rallied Moroccan cooperatives in its response to the pandemic. The cooperatives in the textile sector for instance, spread across the Group’s various sites, were redeployed for the production of protective masks, essential to combating the spread of Covid-19. Act4Community further helped cooperatives through various away to adapt to this crisis situation and increase their resilience through training, marketing and networking, allowing them to continue selling their products online or helping them switch to an adapted activity during the pandemic.

One of the core resources OCP repurposed was the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), founded by OCP to promote research and science. The university’s technical and digital resources and the know-how of its researchers were put to work to ensure that education across the board could continue, despite lessons no longer being held in physical classrooms. UM6P, together with other Moroccan research organisations, also contributed to the production of the first 100% Moroccan artificial ventilator. The university also generously made MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and other e-learning platforms available free of charge to more than 100 partner universities and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, to universities in the RU Forum and to Moroccan institutions.

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On a continental scale, OCP Africa and the OCP Foundation provided financial and technical support to various resilience programmes in Africa. In Burkina Faso, Guinea, Madagascar and Togo, the OCP Foundation assisted several cooperatives in manufacturing PPE equipment. As a result, the four countries produced approximately 27,000 medical bibs, 2,000 litres of hydro-alcoholic gel, 6,250 soaps and 150 hand-washing kits. In Ghana, OCP Africa supported vulnerable women working in agriculture through a special fund to ensure food security in accordance with the Women in Agribooster programme.

In a different vein, the OCP Foundation and UM6P launched “Restore Africa Soils”, a platform to facilitate scientific exchange, training and discussions between researchers from the OCP Foundation’s partner institutions in the different countries in which the OCP Foundation works.

Building OCP’s commitment to a circular economy and sustainable development has played a key part in cultivating its leading position in the phosphate and phosphate derivatives industry. As a result, the Group’s network has also grown stronger over the last century, creating a shared history and demonstrating that economic success and socio-economic development go hand in hand.

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