Ten Kenyans will benefit from this year’s Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme to pursue post-graduate studies in highly specialised fields related to the upstream oil industry, in top universities. The scholarship, which covers full tuition fees and a monthly stipend, has an estimated value of Sh4.8 million ($56,000) per student per annum.
The scholarship sponsors a wide range of courses including Engineering and Technology, Environment and Geo sciences, Oil and Gas Economics, Law and Legal courses among others. Tullow Kenya Country Manager Martin Mbogo said the scheme is part of Tullow’s Social Investment programme, which aims to build capacity in areas where there exist significant skills gaps and is aligned with Tullow’s aim of supporting long-term socio-economic development in countries where it operates.
“The industry is currently in its early stages and its development will depend not only on the mutually beneficial partnerships amongst our stakeholders but also on how much capacity is available locally. In developing local capacity, we are investing in skilled human capital which is a critical resource for any business, and more so in the emerging oil and gas sector,” he said.
He said that Kenya must address the critical issues such as the prevailing skill gap to reap significantly from resource exploitation and development. He noted that it takes a considerable amount of time and resources to train a fully qualified petroleum engineer up to undergraduate and masters level. “In addition they need hands on training before finally getting international certification, it is therefore clear that investment in skills development and training is a top priority,” said Mbogo.
Mbogo further said the government was keen to build capacity in areas where there is significant skill gaps. The Tullow Group Scholarship scheme was launched in 2012 in Kenya and similar to last year, an additional 10 beneficiaries have been selected and will be furthering their studies in leading universities.
This year saw a significant increase in the number of applicants, with a record 5,930 applications received, compared to 740 applications received last year. The applicants are drawn from the public and private sector. It will cost Sh4 million to train them fully. Scholarship are targeted at individual who can exhibit a track record of success in their fields and display a commitment to return to Kenya and make a contribution in higher education.
The Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme is run through a partnership between Tullow and the British Council – an internationally recognised service provider in scholarship management and partnership development in higher education. The Tullow group scholarship scheme began in 2011 in Ghana and it has since expanded to ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya.
British Council administers the scholarship programme on behalf of Tullow group in the countries where it operates,they are for masters level students. The scholarship currently covers Uganda,Ethiopia,Kenya,Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzavile, Uruguay, Guyan and Mauritania and is globally coordinated by British Council, Ghana Office. - By FRED MWANGI