EGA’s GAC opens $1 million vocational training centre to create opportunity for young Guineans

United Arab Emirates, 6 July 2021: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation has opened a $1 million vocational training centre to create opportunity for young Guineans.

The Advanced Automotive Training Centre, located in the town of Boké near GAC’s bauxite mining concession, will provide year-long courses in advanced light vehicle mechanics.

The project was equally funded by GAC and German development finance institution DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, within the framework of the develoPPP programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Highly-capable mechanics are valuable employees in the local mining industry. Some graduates are expected to choose to start their own vehicle repair businesses, contributing to broader economic development and creating employment opportunities for others.

Moudatou Bah, a senior manager at GAC who ran the project, said: “GAC is an important part of the economy in this region. We want to drive further sustainable economic growth by supporting Guineanisation in our industry, increasing the proportion of goods and services we procure locally, and by helping develop young people to start their own successful businesses.

“I look forward to the day when a mechanic business started by a graduate of the Advanced Automotive Training Centre wins a competitive tender to supply GAC with vehicle repair services,” she added.

The Advanced Automotive Training Centre is just one project at GAC to enable people from local communities to develop their employment potential or to start their own revenue-generating small businesses.

Last year, rather than import COVID-19 prevention materials for distribution locally, GAC created capability to make them. The project was also co-financed as part of the develoPPP programme together with DEG.

GAC trained nearly 500 people from neighbouring communities in tailoring and basic fabrication, equipped workshops, and then ordered thousands of masks, soaps and handwashing kits to give to local communities. GAC is currently focused on further capacity building in professional tailoring and helping the tailors to develop new markets to supply, which could ultimately include uniforms for mining companies.

GAC operates a bauxite mine and export facility. Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived.

The development of GAC was part of EGA’s strategic upstream expansion in the aluminium value chain. The project was one of the largest greenfield investments in the last 40 years and cost some $1.4 billion to develop.

GAC employs more than 2,700 people directly and as contractors, 94 per cent Guinean.