Takoradi, Sept. 6, GNA - Parents, students, community leaders and representatives from the oil sector got together at Takoradi in the Western Region, to celebrate the award of a record number of 150 Aker Energy-GNPC scholarships to promising youth in the Region’s coastal districts.
The Aker Energy-GNPC scholarship follows academically promising students from low-income backgrounds through their time in either Senior High School or Nursing School and offers financial assistance to them by providing pocket money and basic school items.
The scholarship also offers students support in the form of mentoring, follow-ups and career counselling and assists students in the processes for furthering their education beyond Senior High School.
“We in Aker believe that this programme with its slogan ties in directly with our long term ambitions in Ghana: ‘Developing Local Talent’.
I must say that I am proud to see what has been achieved and how the programme has contributed over the past years. I am sure that this year’s 150 – up from 125 last year, Aker Energy-GNPC scholars are blazing a trail that will benefit Ghana in coming years,” Mr. Jan Helge Skogen, the Country Manager of Aker Energy, said when he wished the students good luck in their academic endeavours.
Furthermore, he highlighted that Aker Energy, based on its Norwegian heritage, has an ambition to go beyond local content requirements to share knowledge and experience in a way that contributes to not only achieving short-term goals, but also to meet the medium and long-term ambitions of the local oil and gas industry in Ghana.
A Joint Effort
The scholarship programme previously known as the Hess-GNPC scholarship has, this year been extended and repackaged as the Aker-GNPC scholarship following Aker Energy’s acquisition of Hess Ghana in February.
This year, the programme has offered scholarships to a record number of students and has instituted a more comprehensive follow-up system for each individual student through the pastoral care component of the program.
“I know that Aker Energy appreciates the value of education, and shares GNPC’s strong belief in education. GNPC is a strong supporter of education and training programs not only in the Western Region but all over the country.
Personally, I am a strong believer in what gestures and programs like this can do to transform the lives of others. I am also where I am today because someone believed in me,” said Dr. Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, General Manager of Sustainability at Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The Petroleum Commission, represented at the launch by Mr. Kwadjo Asare Kyei, commended Aker Energy and GNPC for taking their social responsibility towards communities in Western Region so seriously.
Full Support from the Local Communities
Traditional and community leaders at the launch were delighted to see youth being supported and getting access to education so that they can fully participate in the growing oil and gas sector in Ghana.
Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, President of the Western Region House of Chiefs, expressed his thanks for the programme and urged the hopeful students to make the most of their prospects, saying, “You have a lot of opportunities ahead of you.”
His words were echoed by the Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, who was also present at the launch.
“I am proud to be associated with this programme. Education is, in my view, the key to everything and it is an important equalizer in our society. It is an important platform for everyone to display his or her god-given talents and I am glad that education is a priority at the national level and also an integral part of the social responsibility program of Aker Energy and GNPC,” said Dr. Afriyie.
The Minister said, it’s a declared priority at both national and regional level to transform Western Region into a hub for the oil and gas industry. Educating the youth from this area to the standards required to work for oil production companies, as well as supply companies in the oil sector is an essential step towards achieving this goal.
The Queen mother of the Essikado Traditional Area encouraged the students to return to their home area upon completing their education, to assist in the further development of their communities and the Western Region.
Seven generations of scholars
Sandra Odoom is a final year student from Nsein Senior High School, one of the scholarship’s partner schools, and has an ambition of pursuing a law degree upon her graduation.
“The scholarship has made an important impact on my life and that of my fellow students. I advise incoming scholars to focus on everything academic and to take full use of the special mentoring and counselling services that is part of the program, and to fully seize this opportunity,” said Ms Odoom.
Susanne Twieky is one of the fresh scholars of 2018 attending Archbishop Porter Girls School, and said she is most excited about having all the educational facilities and opportunities she would need for her studies.
“I dream of becoming a teacher in future and going to school will enable me to move on with my aims and dreams for the future”, said Susanne.