Leon H. Sullivan Awards Dinner
David J. O'Reilly, Chairman and CEO
Leon H. Sullivan Awards Dinner
Washington, D.C., June 20, 2002
Mr. President, Ambassador Young, distinguished guests and friends: on behalf of the employees of ChevronTexaco, I thank you very much for this recognition.
Tonight, we are here to honor the legacy of Rev. Sullivan and to celebrate the passion and conviction he brought to the matter of human rights and Africa. As an early endorser of the Sullivan Principles, we can see the positive benefits they have sparked.
[Global Sullivan Principles: read the code of corporate conduct formulated by Rev. Sullivan]
ChevronTexaco has been doing business in Africa for close to a century.
We operate in 40 countries in Africa with many thousands of employees, almost all of whom are nationals of those countries.
“To us partnership is not a legal or business term. It is a value.”
One of the keys to our success in Africa -- and elsewhere -- is our commitment to partnership. To us, partnership is not a legal or business term. It is a value. We understand that success among partners must be mutual and sustained. Partnership transcends business -- it governs our relationship with our employees, our communities, with governments and with customers. And it has served us well in Africa and elsewhere around the world.
All of us here this evening share a commitment to the future of Africa.
The issues facing Africa are challenging. We know there is work to be done in the areas of infrastructure, education, health care, transparency and the ability of governments to meet the needs of their people.
But it is equally clear that, thanks to leaders such as President Obasanjo, the opportunities are far greater than any of the challenges.
One ingredient of the fuel that will solve these challenges is investment.
Investment brings jobs; it brings education; it brings a stronger healthcare infrastructure. Investment brings stability and growth. And, most important, investment attracts additional investment.
From the perspective of a global energy company, we know that Africa's oil and gas resources are vital to the world's energy markets. It is for this reason that ChevronTexaco and its predecessor companies have invested close to $5 billion in the past five years. And, together with partners, we plan to invest upward of $20 billion over the next five years. I can tell you we have every expectation that this will be money well spent.
I truly believe that Africa is a good place to invest. We need to break the paradigm of thinking that the path to self-reliance and prosperity for Africa will be achieved through aid alone. The path forward must include an emphasis on increasing trade and investment. It is also my firm belief that all of us here tonight have a special responsibility to communicate this message and to the extent we can, act on it!
“Investment brings jobs; it brings education; it brings a stronger healthcare infrastructure. Investment brings stability and growth.”
The nations of Africa deserve the opportunity to be equal partners in the global economy.
So as we celebrate the legacy of Rev. Sullivan this evening, let us rededicate ourselves to helping build a more promising future for Africa. I thank you again sincerely for recognizing ChevronTexaco tonight.
Updated: June 2002