The purpose of Ambatovy’s Social Investment Fund (SIF) is to provide or improve infrastructure and other public services in the areas around our operations in Madagascar. The SIF was a one-time payment of $25 million associated with Ambatovy’s community obligations as a result of receiving its operating permits. In co-operation with the regulators, 17 projects were identified to be funded out of the SIF. At this stage, 10 projects have been completed, five are underway, and two have not started yet.
In 2017, two large, public markets in Moramanga and Brickaville were completed. Markets are very important to the local culture and economy. They provide space for community communication and safe, permanent space for economic exchanges. Moramanga now has the biggest permanent market in Madagascar. Two gensets were donated to the city of Toamasina, which will improve the power capacity for the surrounding area and lessen the likelihoods of blackouts. The fund was also used to improve 1.4 km of roadway in a municipality that was in poor repair and greatly impeding access issues. The road is considered an important tool of development, and has greatly shortened travel time for people who work and go to school in the area.
Previously, in 2016, Ambatovy used the SIF to renovate the Technical and Vocational High School in Toamasina, where the plant site is located. This project involved renovating workshops for carpentry, metal structure, building and public works, general mechanics and auto mechanics. In addition, building electricity and sanitary facilities were upgraded for staff and students. It is expected that the renovation of these workshops will help students to gain highly relevant hands-on experience and new skills; it will also support the employability of graduates when they enter the job market.