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Skills for Oil and Gas Africa Programme to Benefit Tanzania

Approximate reading time: 5 minutes

Stakeholders from the public and private sectors including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Department for International Development, UK (DFID), Statoil, Volunteer Services Overseas and British Gas were invited to the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence in Masaki, Dar es Salaam recently to celebrate the launch of the Norwegian contribution to a vocational training programme focussing on the oil and gas industry.

Among the guests of honour, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Tone Skogen and Prof Simon Msanjila, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training delivered speeches centered on training and providing employment for youth in Tanzania. Permanent Secretary of Labour and Employment at the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Erick Shitindi was also present.

Ms Skogen said it was an opportunity for partners and businesses to sit together over an informal dinner and get updated on the development of the training programme targeted at young people. Skills for Oil and Gas Africa, known as SOGA, connect young people in Tanzania with industryrelevant training and work opportunities.

With the recent discovery of large reserves of gas in Tanzania, Norway believes vocational training is key to involving local participation in developing the sector in a sustainable way. “In 2014, the Norwegian Government presented a white paper entitled Education for Development.

This sets out our intention to double Norway’s support for global education by the end of 2017, and one of our priority areas is technical and vocational education and training,” said Ms Skogen. “Young people need work, and they need qualifications and skills that will give them access to the job market.

At the same time, companies are looking for qualified workers. We want to create opportunities for young people, involving the private sector, and cooperating with other donors, with a special focus on women – all of which are put into practice in SOGA,” Ms Skogen added.

SOGA will also be working with national authorities and institutions to develop the vocational education sector.

Representatives from the Tanzanian Government and technical vocational education and training (TVET), providers are also taking part in the SOGA programme. “I want to thank the Norwegian Government, our partners for their generous contribution to the SOGA Programme, which supports the achievements of our ambitious Goals in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Tanzania,” said Mr Viktor Wetzel, Portfolio Manager, GIZ, who is a strategic partner in the initiative.

Mr Wetzel commented in his speech that in Tanzania, SOGA has completed and are continuing a cooperation agreement with the LNG Joint venture and VSO on projects in the Lindi and Mtwara Regions. The Initiative will improve the training curricula of trades relevant to the construction sector to an international standard.

Together with SOGA contributions, GIZ expects to provide up to 3,600 skilled labourers by the end of 2019.

“What is unique about this programme is the strong link to the private sector, with the Government of Tanzania very open to the whole idea,” said Gill Morgan, Team Leader of the Sustainable Global Team, DFID. Joan Kahwa, Strategy and Employment Manager, CSI Electrical said, “Our workforce is skilled but many lack formal certificates needed for employment, and English is also a challenge, so it’s important to fill this gap.”

Ms Kahwa mentioned that the industry is extremely supportive of women but attitudes need to change in terms of people pursuing technical careers as many in Tanzania see this route only for those who have done poorly at school and college. In order to professionally structure, match demand and supply a consistent labour force, SOGA is establishing a career centre.

The centre will offer a professional candidate database for the industry, and relevant advice and training for recruitment processes. In cooperation with the British Council, SOGA will also train 140 tutors who will train vocational teachers in communication, English language, as well as effective practical teaching methods. Thousands of vocational students will benefit from this initiative. There will also be training packages prepared for In-house training in the industry.

Norway has considerable experience from the oil and gas sector. The country has built up its petroleum and service industry over many decades, and trained many people- both Norwegians and non-Norwegians- who have taken part in this success story.

The joint LNG project has the potential to become the largest investment in Tanzania ever. Norway is excited to be a small part of it through SOGA and other initiatives that it supports.

Experience from Norway shows that it can take 15-20 years before gas revenues and large-scale job opportunities materialise. Having a realistic timeline for income generation and job creation is therefore important. SOGA takes this into account, and also ensures that vocational training can be used in other sectors. Tanzania is a longstanding partner for Norway.

The relationship has developed over 50 years of development cooperation. Norway now welcomes a new phase in its relations, with more emphasis on investment, trade and global issues. The Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania has a particular focus on the oil and gas sector.

Its Oil for Development programme aims at promoting economically, environmentally and socially responsible management of petroleum resources, to the benefit of future generations in Tanzania.

The Norwegian contribution to the regional programme over 4 years is approximately USD 10 million (NOK 80 million. SOGA is also funded by DFID (£25 million), BMZ (£25 million) and BG.

The expected outcomes of the programme include the number of the local population in sustainable jobs associated with oil and gas investments will increase by 32,000. Out of these 32,000 people, 35 per cent should be women and 40 per cent young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

In addition, the income of people reached by the programme would increase by 10 per cent.

Article by Joanna Martin for AllAfrica


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