Before Kosmos began exploration offshore Western Sahara, it invested in bringing early benefits to local communities through infrastructure investments and other programs. Much of this on-the-ground work has focused on stakeholder engagement and social investment, consistent with how we do business everywhere we operate.
To best determine where social investment might have a positive impact, Kosmos undertook needs assessments in Dakhla and Boujdour, working respectively with AMIDEAST, a leading non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities, and the High Atlas Foundation, a non-profit organization specializing in grassroots development.
The studies provided valuable insights and were the basis for designing our initial social investment projects:
Workforce Development, Training and Education in Dakhla (2015-2016)
At the training center, AMIDEAST provided soft-skills and language classes to 18-35 year-olds seeking employment. The project had components specifically targeting the fishing community, co-operatives, and entrepreneurs. Upon students’ completing of the training classes, AMIDEAST assisted students with their career plan, including the search for internships and jobs.
A local program coordinator has been hired by AMIDEAST in Dakhla, and local people were recruited as teachers for the classes.
Schools Infrastructure and Hygiene Project in Boujdour (2014-2015)
One of the findings of the study conducted by High Atlas Foundation was that seven local schools lacked hygienic and private gender-segregated bathroom facilities. This was contributing to an above-average incidence of skin and eye disease among students, as well as lower attendance rates among female students.
With the help of High Atlas Foundation, Kosmos provided the seven schools in Boujdour with clean drinking water facilities and new, gender-segregated bathrooms. We also supported other minor repairs to the schools. Kosmos worked with the Ministry of Health to provide health education at the schools to increase student awareness of sanitation practices, disease prevention, and personal hygiene. More than 4,750 students continue to directly benefit from the project.
Airport Infrastructure Investments in Dakhla (2014)
Rather than using existing facilities in Agadir, Morocco or Las Palmas, Spain, Kosmos chose to support its offshore crew change operations from Dakhla during the drilling of the CB-1 well. Kosmos invested capital into improving the Dakhla airport by expanding its heliport. The heliport project resulted in the construction of temporary hangers, allowing for Kosmos’ helicopters to use the facility. Local people were hired to do the construction. Although the work didn’t create many permanent jobs, the project demonstrates our commitment to investing in Western Sahara.
Oil and Gas Supply Chain Capability (2014)
Kosmos commissioned a leading global consulting company to complete an early-stage oil and gas supply chain analysis, which included a field mission to Western Sahara and locations within Morocco.This study has contributed to our understanding of the region so that we can maximize local employment and supply chain opportunities in the future.
Future Social Investment Opportunities
Future social investment programs in Dakhla and Boujdour will focus on language skills training in either French or English. In our interactions with the local population and government stakeholders, as well as discussions with beneficiaries of our program in Dakhla, we recognized that knowledge of French and English would greatly benefit young people in their search for employment or their entrepreneurial endeavors.