BG Group offers Oil, Gas scholarships in Tanzania

Story by Tanzania daily News

The number of oil and gas experts in Tanzania is set to increase following an offer of 20 scholarships by British multinational BG Gas for higher education students at the prestigious Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen, Scotland.

This was revealed during President Jakaya Kikwete’s visit of RBU on Monday, on his last leg of his three-day visit of the United Kingdom (UK).

President Kikwete said he was happy with the offer and asked the institution to extend it by offering a ‘training of trainers’ programme to boost local expert capacity in the new lucrative gas and oil sector that has few experts.

“I thank BG for this initiative, which would go a long way in ensuring that we have adequate number of experts in the oil and gas sector in Tanzania,” he noted.

Mr Kikwete, who also witnessed hands-on training deep sea oil drilling simulator facility for RBU students, was optimistic that in three to 10 years Tanzania would boast of a sizeable number of experts.

He also emphasised the need for trainer exchange programmes between RBU and Tanzania’s higher learning institutions that have oil and gas programmes.

A statement issued on Wednesday said Britain’s BG Group and Ophir Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), on the potential development of a multibillion pound onshore liquefied natural gas plant in Tanzania.

British firm Aldwych International also reviewed progress on the development of a £175 million wind power farm in Tanzania. President Kikwete, who is on an official visit there, met with the British Premier at the latter’s official No. 10 Downing Street residence.

This was the first time the two leaders had met since the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife in February. Mr Cameron welcomed Tanzania’s commitment to tackling the trade and the Elephant Protection Initiative.

The two leaders also noted with concern the threat posed by Islamic extremism at home and abroad and pledged to work together to do more to prevent radicalisation. They also looked ahead to the forthcoming elections in Tanzania and the importance of democratic transition.

President Kikwete updated Mr Cameron on his efforts to tackle corruption. The prime minister encouraged Tanzania to sign up to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which will help boost investor confidence in Tanzania.

Both agreed that combating corruption and promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law were essential for development and President Kikwete agreed with the PM ‘s view that these issues should be at the heart of what replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Meanwhile, Mr Kikwete arrived in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday ahead of the two-day European Union and Africa (EU-A) Summit. Under the theme “Investing in people, prosperity and peace,” EU and African leaders at the two-day meeting will assess progress made in their relations and devise mechanisms for furthering them.

While in Brussels, President Kikwete is expected to meet with the President of the European Commission, Mr Jose Manuel Barosso, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte.

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