As part of efforts to facilitate and increase the participation of Ghanaians in the fledging oil and gas industry, Centre for Social Impact Studies (CeSIS), a research and advocacy non-governmental organization has called on government to review and improve the relationship between academic institutions and players in the petroleum industry. This is to help achieve the goal of empowering Ghanaians to take over the important positions in the oil and gas industry.
This call was made during a one day seminar organized in Kumasi on September 29, 2011 for graduates on employment opportunities that exist in the oil industry. The seminar with the theme “Strategically positioning today’s graduate in the oil and gas industry” brought together graduates and students in various tertiary schools in and around Kumasi.
A statement by the Director of Research and Advocacy of CeSIS, Mr. Clement Asiedu Menlah indicated that the relationship between the academic institutions and players of the industry is to improve the capacity of Ghanaians to drive the oil industry. “We are calling on the government based on our observation that the industry has on several occasions complained that there is very little capacity for Ghanaians to participate in the upstream petroleum industry”, said Mr. Asiedu Menlah adding that the government must be proactive in deepening the linkages between the industry and academia so that with time Ghanaians can take over the commanding heights of the oil and gas industry.
The chairman of the programme, Dr. Stephen Donyinah registered his displeasure with the development in the oil and gas industry. Dr. Stephen Donyinah, a lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), lamented “Ghanaians are approaching the oil industry with their lackadaisical attitude”. He added that we have been mining gold for several years but how many Ghanaians are employed in the mining companies”. He therefore urged government to link up the academic institutions with the oil industry players to enable churning out capable and effective graduates. He again admonished graduates to increase their knowledge of the oil industry to make them more competitive.
Dr. Donyinah on April 2011 revealed that government has neglected Ghanaian universities in matters of policies that guide the oil and gas industry during his presentation at a Local Content Workshop dubbed “Developments, Policies and Challenges for Ghana” at the Ghana Oil Summit in Accra. He was quoted as saying “the industry-university relationship in the country is not the best,” in his presentation titled “How Tertiary Education in Ghana is contributing towards the Local Content Capacity Building in the Emerging Oil and Gas Industry”.
The seminar marks the first of the series of regional education programmes that Centre for Social Impact Studies is organizing to increase awareness of the employment opportunities in the oil and gas industry graduates and students could take advantage of.