The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID-Kenya) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has designed an initiative that will equip local populations with skills needed to seize job opportunities in the oil and gas sector in East Africa. The initiative dubbed Skills for Oil and Gas Africa (SOGA) will focus on Kenya, Uganda Tanzania and Mozambique and will work closely with the private sector and government to deliver support to training institutions, establishing business enterprise development centres and assist local people to win contracts to supply goods and services to the oil and gas industry. The five year project (2015-2019) implemented by GIZ and co-funded by UK aid (£25 million) is expected to help 32,000 local people to get sustainable jobs in the sector over the next five years.
In his opening speech at the SOGA annual regional conference, Mr. Hendrik Linneweber – GIZ country Director Kenya said:
“The recent oil & gas discoveries in Kenya and Eastern African countries offer an unprecedented opportunity for economic growth and development. In the next two years, the Oil and Gas Industry will have a huge demand of technical skills and there is an urgent need to qualify and prepare these people for future jobs”.
Head of DFID Kenya Ms Lisa Phillips said:
“The UK, through DFID, is committed to ensuring that efforts to promote economic development in East Africa are sustainable and long-lasting. SOGA will assist the private sector and partner governments in preparing their workforce for upcoming opportunities and will ensure that any jobs which are created by the Oil & Gas Industry are open and accessible to local people”.
An inception phase of the programme was conducted between January and September 2015 in the four countries with the aim of identifying common areas for partnership and collaboration with the private sector and government which would be integrated in the implementation of the programme and national system.