A view of the panel who was attended Godson Njoku (far left), CEO of Shell Gabon
A view of the panel who was attended Godson Njoku (far left), CEO of Shell Gabon

Over the two days, Platinum Sponsor Shell Gabon played an active role via its exhibition stand and in speeches by Godson Njoku and François Onanga-Gondjout (respectively CEO and Local Content Manager).

Giving his keynote address on 7 July 2015, Njoku was emphatic: “local content is a catalyst for the development of national talent. It contributes to the country’s economy and its social development, leading to sustainable conditions for business and a win-win situation.” He added, “through its local content policy, Shell Gabon seeks to make a lasting contribution to the economic development of Gabon and provide job opportunities for its people. This is in line with government policy.” Concluding his speech,

Njoku noted that “the implementation of local content offers a genuine economic opportunity for Gabon. To reap the benefits, we need three essential conditions: 1) close co-operation between government and stakeholders, based on a stable fiscal environment; 2) a reliable platform for SME finance; and 3) suitable training that supports entrepreneurship.”

François Onanga-Gondjout explained, “the roll-out of our local content policy is based on governance aligned with the principles of transparency, ethical conduct and meritocracy. We set strategies which favour Gabon-based SMEs in our invitations to tender and contract award processes.” Onanga-Gondjout added, “our Roadmap is based on creating business opportunities for SMEs in Gabon, while strengthening their capacities through a transfer of skills.”

The Shell Gabon stand was well-attended, and this was a key moment in the company’s involvement in the Forum. Several decision-makers and entrepreneurs were able to find out more about Shell Gabon’s local content policy here. Visiting the stand, Professor Daniel Ona

Ondo, Prime Minister and Leader of the Government of Gabon, was appreciative of Shell Gabon’s action on local content. He encouraged the company to continue on this path.

As a major player in the economy of Gabon, Shell Gabon has always made local content an integral part of its decisions. The signing of the Shell Gabon Local Content Policy at Rabi, on 20 February 2014, certainly fitted this logic. To date, Shell Gabon has placed contracts worth around XAF 300 billion over three years with over 60 Gabonese businesses.

Furthermore, Shell Gabon supports the enhancement of capacity and skills necessary for local businesses to meet the requirements of the industry and Shell Gabon, in terms of technology, quality, health, safety and environmental protection.

Shell Gabon is definitely playing its part in furthering the dynamic progress of Gabonese SMEs, so that they can play a greater role in the country’s oil industry.