Globally, the growing demand for energy has translated into an increasing expectation on organizations in the extractive sector to fit sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies in their business models.
On this premise, energy companies are required to set part of their focus on committing to addressing the challenges associated with their operations – a responsibility very well understood by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
By any objective measure, GNPC, through the provision of leadership by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Opoku-Ahweneeh Danquah, has maintained its position as not only socially accountable to itself but also to communities and the people of Ghana. A position that resonates with its corporate vision to be a leading global oil and gas company, whose operations have a profound impact on the quality of life of the people of Ghana.
Beyond the safeguarding of the environment through sustainable practices, the National Oil Company continues to demonstrate unwavering resolve to provide critical support to communities and their development through the designing and implementation of tailored intervention programs aimed at ameliorating the environmental, social and economic impact of its activities within its production enclave and beyond.
Despite the myriad of challenges and opposition in the execution of its CSR strategies, the GNPC CEO has committed to ensuring the consolidation of gains made by the GNPC Foundation, in protecting the assets of GNPC and its partner operators in the upstream petroleum sector.
With the Western Region serving as home to the core of Ghana’s current oil operations and giving the geographical scope of the Voltaian Basin Project, Mr. Danquah believes that upholding the tenets of the Corporation’s CSR activities across the country is an integral component of its strategy to securing the social license needed to peacefully operate; averting potential sources of conflict and opposition that could hinder the goal of increasing oil production and growing GNPC’s core business.
While this is not an exhaustive list under its CSR scope, a key area for the advancement of GNPC’s support to communities and people development is the investments in education and training. GNPC has supported the training of about 6,000 qualified Ghanaian students with scholarships to pursue various graduate and postgraduate studies across institutions both home and abroad.
The Foundation continues to commit funds to erecting school infrastructure while providing basic social amenities in areas in dire need of them. GNPC has completed 91 classroom blocks with 50 more at various levels of completion, 5 dormitories with 6 more pending to be completed, 3 science laboratories with 5 more at various completion levels, and 16 Astroturfs with 16 more pending completion in communities and schools. Also, there are 383 boreholes and 32 sanitary facilities with 319 and 54 others respectively at various levels of completion to help alleviate water and sanitation-related health challenges in rural communities.
Furthermore, and through the Skilled Artisans project, GNPC is enhancing the livelihoods of some 2050 youth who are being trained with employable skills in various vocations. These youth are being supported with requisite tools relevant to their respective vocations to begin their entrepreneurial journeys, keeping them off the streets and from becoming burdens on society.
While these activities are far from an exhaustive list of its CSR scope, it offers credence to O-A Danquah’s belief that the business of corporations like GNPC must continue to impact positively on communities; that CSR and community investment strategies must align with GNPC’s business decisions on sustainability and creating economic, social, and environmental value.