The Ugandan government will award 600 scholarships to students from the resource rich Albertine region to train students in oil and gas courses following $28 million loan from the World Bank.
According to the New Vision the students will come from some nine districts in Western Uganda including: Hoima, Masindi, Buliisa, Fort Portal, Kasese, Bundibujo, Kanungu, Nebbi and Amuru.
Education Minister Jessica Alupo says the money will assist only students from the local communities in the oil rich region as the government ensures that the host communities develop the capacity to meet the skills demands of oil and gas production.
“These scholarships are ring-fenced for students from the Albertine region so that they can start reaping the benefits of oil and gas as the host communities,” she said.
The scholarships whichwill be at various levels including certificate, diploma and degree will be offered at the Uganda Technical College, Kicwamba and Uganda Petroleum Institute, Kigumba (UPIK) with the latter planning to introduce degrees soon.
Through the loan students will enjoy free free tution fees, accommodation, feeding adna living stipend.
Some of the money is also expected to be used to upgrade training facilities at the institutions to host the students.
Uganda which has discovered an estimated 3.5 billion barrels of oil is at least 2 years away from oil production has already received bids for the refinery to be based in Hoima with four companies in contention with upgrade of infrastructure works such as roads having started.