Role of local experts must be emphasized EDITOR

The call was made during graduation ceremony of nine students who were sponsored for Masters Programme in Geosciences and Engineering in Norway by Statoil Tanzania.
The graduates as well requested the government to consider them for employment b efore eyeing at experts from outside the country.
It is obvious that b oth Statoil Tanzania and the graduates have a point on this. As Tanzania opens a new chapter on exploiting gas and oil, it needs skilled, experienced and young experts to move things forward. With the support from both foreign and local companies, the gov ernment can now count some local experts in the area.
In order to strengthen the sector and encourage other youth to pursue studies in the area, the government needs to give priority to local ex perts. As the government embarks on building industrial driven economy, local experts are very crucial in v arious sectors including oil and sector.
Developed countries such as Japan, China, England and many others b anked on local experts in building up their industries. With discovery of gas and the ongoing oil exploration in v arious parts of the country, the government must set plans b y training local experts in various areas.
Statoil Tanzanian and other companies hav e already shown interests in supporting Tanzanians to attain ex pertise in gas and oil sector. To support their efforts, the government must respond by offering employment to the graduates so that they can practice and share their knowledge with other Tanzanians in the area.
According to Statoil’s Capacity Building leader, Prof. Richard Tib aijuka, the programme provides scholarship for 10 students ev ery year to pursue MSc degrees in Petroleum G eosciences and Petroleum Engineering at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The University works with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). Statoil Tanzania signed a contract with NTNU and UDSM from 2012 and that the contract is set to end in 2019. Under this programme, a total of 32 Petroleum Engineers (production reservoir and Drilling Engineers), 15 Petroleum G eoscience (G eology Petrophysics) and 3 Project Management have b een admitted to date.
From 2010, Tanzania has witnessed further exploration and natural gas discoveries. In March, this year, the estimated natural gas reserv es reached 57 trillion cub ic feet (TCF). For Tanzania to b enefit from oil and gas b usiness, the government remains with no option but to train enough local experts in the area.