Tullow Oil has launched a scholarship scheme worth more than $6million to support 110 young scholars from nine developing countries including 50 from Ghana.
The Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme would benefit university graduates with second class upper or first class degrees, and HND holders with distinction drawn from Ghana, Uganda, Gabon, Cote D’Ivoire, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mauritania and French Guiana.
Out of the 50 spaces allotted to Ghana, 10 have been reserved for the Western Region, another 10 for government institutions and the remaining 30 are open for public competition.
Each qualifying candidate stands to gain at least $60,000 a year covering tuition, travel, warm clothes, monthly allowances and baggage allowance for training in selected European countries including the UK and France.
Vice President of External Affair and Corporate Social Responsibility at Tullow Oil, Rosalind Kainyah said Tullow has already sponsored 24 Ghanaians on pilot basis to top universities in the UK to study and this comprehensive one comes on the back of the success of the pilot.
She said over time the scholarship to study overseas would give way to scholarships to study locally because Tullow has plans to support internationally recognized institutions in the selected countries to train the scholars instead of making them travel overseas.
“The in-country institutional strengthening programme will complement the scholarship scheme and will mean that the need for scholarships in overseas institutions phases out over time and is replaced with scholarships to these internationally recognized in-country institutions,” she said.
Tullow has appointed the British Council to manage the selection of candidates for the scholarship and Director of the British Council Ghana, Moses Anibaba says they will start receiving applications from March this year. He also announced that the British Council will also take care of all pre-departure issues like visa and flight arrangement for the selected candidates.
Part of the British Council’s responsibility is to ensure that beneficiaries of the scheme would return home after their training and help with national development and Mr. Anibaba said the council will not renege on that responsibility.
Minister of Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei who launched the scheme lauded Tullow for the initiative and noted that if the scheme continued at the pace it is going, Ghana and Africa would have lots of world class experts within a short time.
He however appealed to Tullow to increase the number of scholarships for Ghana, saying “if you give 50 scholarships at a time when you are drilling 85,000 barrels of oils per day in Ghana then I pray for you to get 120,000 barrels of oil in Ghana per day so you can give us about 80 scholarships every year.”
The minister also urged beneficiaries to return home and help with national development saying that if anyone fails to return he will personally organize a prayer session and pray until the person returns home.