Africa Down Under, Moroccan giant leading from front

BYYasir Rehman
SOURCEVibe Media


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OCP Group, Morocco based global leader in the phosphate industry has invited Australian mining giants, investors and industrialists to join hands and reap the benefits. Out of proven 70 Billion tons global phosphate reserves, Morocco holds 50 Billion of them and OCP Group has an exclusive access to these world’s largest phosphate reserves.

“OCP Group is strongly committed to contributing to the sustainable development of agriculture in Africa. We have embarked on a mission to pursue South-South cooperation with fellow African countries to contribute to Africa’s agricultural development”, Meriem El Asraoui, OCP Director Corporate affairs told Vibe Media On the side line of 3-day Africa Down Under Conference which concluded on Friday in Perth.

Now in its 16th year, the Africa Down Under Conference (ADU) was introduced to raise awareness of Australia’s interests in African mining and energy. Over that period, the conference has grown into the largest African mining-focused event outside of the continent.

She maintained that Conference allowed OCP Group and Phosboucraa Foundation (one of our wholly-owned foundations) to meet with several government officials, institutions and companies that either operate their activities or invest in Africa.

Regarding their participation in the conference she said as an African-based Group and given the great number of initiatives we are currently carrying out worldwide, and most importantly in Africa, it only made sense to be involved in this conference and to come to Australia to share our almost 100-year old experience as a key player in the international phosphate market.

Meriem El Asraoui while highlighting her company activities said that we have several hundred years of production at our current production rate, and have a combined annual phosphate rock production capacity of 44 Million tons.

She said OCP has a diversified regional exposure and balanced international footprint with customers in over 80 countries across all 5 continents. We also have more than 50 affiliates and joint-ventures internationally with very reputable companies such as Jacobs Engineering, DuPont and IBM, amongst others.

Sharing OCP initiatives in Africa, she said OCP Group is strongly committed to contributing to the sustainable development of agriculture in Africa. We have embarked on a mission to pursue South-South cooperation with fellow African countries to contribute to Africa’s agricultural development. This development puts front and center the manufacturing of customized fertilizers, which are better for farmers in terms of yield and prices. These are the results of thorough research and development with local institutions to ensure that there is a lot of value-added locally.

One of OCP Group’s biggest success stories in Africa in the field of customized fertilizers is the development of new fertilizers based on fertility maps. In Ethiopia for instance, our new fertilizers enriched with different micronutrients led the Ethiopian government to shift completely from the use of conventional fertilizers towards these new customized fertilizers. Thanks to this, we are now developing, in collaboration with the government of Ethiopia, a USD 2.4 Billion fertilizer complex to serve the Ethiopian farmers. Similarly, we are the official partner of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which helped Nigeria achieve tremendous rice yields and create more than 25,000 jobs.

As part of our development strategy in Africa, we also decided to create in 2016 a wholly-owned subsidiary (OCP Africa) entirely dedicated to the continent to better address the African market and to unleash the African agricultural potential. OCP Africa currently has a presence in 16 countries with 10 subsidiaries across Africa.

We also strongly believe that extension and advisory services are the cornerstone of all programs aiming at modernizing the agricultural sector in Africa to promote the reasoned use of agricultural inputs and to provide customized and affordable fertilizers that serve as a major lever for improving agricultural productivity and local farmers’ competitiveness in Africa. For instance, we developed an OCP School Lab program that has reached dozens of thousands of farmers across Africa to train them on good agricultural practices.

In 2014 OCP established Phosboucraa Foundation to carry out the social and societal commitment of OCP. Phosboucraa is in the midst of a USD 2.2 Billion development program (expected to be completed by 2022) that will move Phosboucraa’s operations up the value chain from phosphate rock (a raw material) to fertilizers (the finished product).