FOR a company to be socially responsible, it first needs to be accountable to itself and its shareholders.
Often, companies that adopt CSR programmes have grown their business to the point where they can give back to society.
This is what the Kahama-based Magare Company Limited is doing to forge a stronger bond between employees and corporations, boost morale and help both employees and employers feel more connected with the world around them.
Under CSR, the company has supported Isagale Secondary School by building three classrooms, training six teachers for science and commerce subjects and offering stationery. The teachers are being paid by the company under renewable contracts terms until the government will officially transfer them in its employment system, says the company’s Chief Executive Mabula Magangila.
“We are concerned with the availability of more science teachers so that the country can produce many experts to manage various sectors of the national economy. Our company deals with engineering-related activities, so we are aware how experts in the sector are highly needed,” he explains.
The company also supports Bugisha Secondary School in Shinyanga by providing furniture and other key items. The assistance is in three areas of education, health and sports. “I am happy that Isagale Secondary School is among the beneficiaries because I was completed my education there in 2004,” the 35-year-old CEO says.
In the field of health, the company supports the Mwanza-based Saint Rita Medical Laboratory where people have 70 per cent access to free medical services. In sports, Magare Company Limited sponsor Rock City Marathon every year whose main objective is to promote the tourists attractions since tourism is key foreign exchange earner sector.
The Rocky City Marathon involves people with albinism who are given packages of essential needs such as special skin oil, sunglasses and hats. As the company expands nationwide, CSR initiatives actively attempt to engage in activities that benefit its local communities as well as produce profits for the corporation.
Not only are there publicity benefits to be gleaned from getting involved in local communities, it can also boost employee satisfaction. Increasingly, Magare Company Limited is interested in funding the construction of things like schools in lower-income neighbourhoods, and becoming engaged with civic issues that affect where it is doing business.
Magangila says that at its beginning in 2013 the company had only four workers but now there are over 150 personnel with gender balance being a priority.
“More Tanzanians will continue to benefit from employment opportunities as the company expands rapidly, especially after the Fifth-Phase Government intensified the implementation of Local Content Act.
As a result of the Act, Magare Company Limited is able to compete and win tenders for major development projects in the country compared with the past when the tenders were given to only foreigners. Since the Local Content Act directs involvement of many locals in projects, Tanzanians have used such an opportunity to sharpen their knowledge and skills from foreign experts.
“The move helps a lot as many of our operations are run by Tanzanians, especially in mining sites. In the past, the company dealt with only supply because we faced shortage of experts. Now we are able to design and install machines in mining cities and industries, thanks to the government for implementation of the Local Content Act,” Magangila says.
About nine international companies are already partnering with Magare Company Limited, including the WEG Group (Brazil) and Hytec (South Africa). The partnership means a lot to the company. There is an increase of local experts who have been attached to major development projects for acquiring the much-needed skills.
The on-going Standard Gauge Railway (SRG) is one of the major projects whose experts are from Magare, says Magangila. Currently, this local company is striving to reduce the number of imported machinery after getting the experience to assemble them locally for industries and mines.
“We used to miss the big tenders in the past as the company lacked experts for machinery installations. Now we are competent in all areas of supply, design, and installation. Assembling of the machines is the task that will be carried out by locals,” stresses Magangila.
The current company’s operating capital is about 500m/- as compared to 100m/- when it was established in 2013.