Fri 5 Jan 2024

Explore the background of our General Director of Mauritania, discover the nuances of his leadership and explore his enlightening thoughts on the strategic importance and challenges of Mauritania within CIS.

You are the Director of our Mauritanian subsidiary. Could you tell us a bit about your background? What are CNA’s main activities and market presence?

As far as I’m concerned, my career path has been as varied - from industry to trade, distribution and the hotel business - as it has been irregular, with both successes and failures. This has been my life as an entrepreneur. It’s been exciting.

Today, I’m proud to run CNA, a company that plays a key role in the catering and remote site management sectors in demanding environments. CNA, as a subsidiary of CIS, has established itself as a major player in the Mauritanian market, thanks to our expertise in providing essential services in challenging environments.

Since 2022, CNA has been involved in BP’s Grand Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project. This ambitious project underlines our ability to deliver catering and life-cycle management services in offshore hydrocarbon projects. Our role in this project testifies to our expertise and commitment to supporting major initiatives in the energy sector.

At the same time, our collaboration with Kinross on the Tasiast gold mine since 2011 remains a pillar of our presence in Mauritania. We provide not only catering services, but also the complete management of their remote site, which accommodates around 3,000 people, including 500 of our own employees.

In May 2022, we extended our partnership with Kinross by taking over the management of their VIP guesthouse in Nouakchott. This new challenge illustrates our ability to offer personalized, high-quality services tailored to the specific needs of our customers. The management of this VIP guesthouse demands a particular level of service and attention, tailored to the requirements of Tasiast and Kinross executives and VIPs.

These projects demonstrate the breadth of our expertise and our ability to operate in a variety of contexts, from mining projects to offshore installations, while maintaining the highest levels of quality and safety.

What are the main challenges and opportunities currently facing CNA?

As far as challenges are concerned, two of the main ones are logistics and supply. Ensuring regular, quality supplies, especially in remote areas, is essential for the smooth running of our operations and the well-being of our customers. Human resources management is also a critical aspect. With a large workforce spread over a number of different sites, it is vital to maintain the ongoing training, motivation and well-being of our teams. What’s more, we must constantly ensure compliance with environmental and social standards, a major issue in our sector.

At CNA, we approach these challenges with a spirit of resolution and a willingness to innovate, while actively seizing opportunities to strengthen our market position and extend our influence in the region.

What actions/good practices have you implemented recently that you could share with other subsidiaries?

One of the key aspects of our success is the loyalty of our customers, especially Kinross. We have established a relationship with them based on trust and open communication. This approach enables us to understand their needs precisely and respond proactively. This ability to adapt and listen attentively is something we recommend to all our subsidiaries.

What’s more, our employees’ well-being is at the heart of our concerns. We are convinced that satisfied, well-treated employees are more committed and successful.

What smart solutions, smart4you are deployed in Mauritania? How do they meet customer needs and strengthen CNA’s position?

We have deployed a wide range of smart4you solutions to meet the specific needs of our customers and strengthen our market position.

First of all, in terms of health and safety, we implemented advanced disinfection systems during the covid crisis.

Virtual reality headsets are used to train our staff. This technology enables us to deliver immersive and effective training, essential for maintaining high standards of service and safety.

In terms of operations management, we use CSCM and its Menu Engineering module to optimize our catering offers. Connected scales are another tool, enabling us to measure our food waste and work on reducing it.

We use Newsteo, a system for monitoring temperatures in our cold rooms and containers.

Finally, OneDesk is used to manage maintenance and IT requests. This system enables us to respond quickly and efficiently to operational needs, guaranteeing seamless service continuity.

How does CNA contribute to local community development in Mauritania? What social projects or social responsibility initiatives does the company support locally?

We are deeply committed to local community development and social responsibility initiatives. This commitment can be seen in a number of significant actions and projects.

First of all, we value and encourage the professional development of our Mauritanian employees. Recently, we promoted one of our employees, who has been with CNA for over ten years, to the position of number two at our Tasiast site.

This promotion is a testament to our commitment to offering career opportunities to our local employees and recognizing their essential contribution to our success.

We also actively support local culture and communities through various initiatives. Last month, for example, we supported the «Us et Coutumes» festival in Chami, an event celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage. This kind of support helps to strengthen ties with local communities and enhance their heritage.

At CNA, we are proud to contribute actively to Mauritania’s development, both economically and socially.

Two of your chefs came to Marseilles for training at the Lycée Hôtelier. What is CNA’s training and skills development policy? 

CNA’s training and skills development policy is central to our human resources management strategy.

We are aware that in a country like Mauritania, where tourism and the hotel industry are relatively underdeveloped, training our staff is essential to guarantee the quality of our services.

Sending two of our chefs to Marseille for training at the Lycée Hôtelier is a perfect example of this commitment. This is the second time we have taken part in this initiative, the first having taken place in 2019. These overseas training courses are crucial for our chefs, enabling them to acquire new skills and draw inspiration from international best practice.

We are convinced that investing in the training and skills development of our employees is essential not only for their personal fulfillment, but also for the overall success of our company.

How is CNA positioned in relation to the competition in Mauritania, and what sets it apart in the local market? 

In Mauritania’s competitive landscape, CNA stands out for its philosophy of service quality, customer loyalty and responsiveness.

We value healthy competition that stimulates innovation and continuous improvement, with a focus on providing high-quality services ranging from catering to remote site management.

Our commitment to customer loyalty is evident in our long-term relationships with key partners such as Kinross and BP, based on trust and transparency.

Our responsiveness to market needs and ability to adapt quickly make us competitive, while our focus on innovation, integration of advanced technologies, and sustainable practices strengthen our position in the Mauritanian market.

A final word 

A huge thank you to the entire CNA team for their exceptional dedication. I encourage them to persevere in constantly improving quality. Sincere thanks to my family, especially my wife who has supported me for 30 years. In conclusion, I wish the CIS family a year 2024 full of health, joy and good things from all at CNA.

Information website CNA Mauritania 

Information Career at CIS