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KNUST records increase in Geology graduate turn out
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Oil discovery in Ghana has sparked a huge increase in the turn out of Geology graduates at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), an oil industry official said.

“The turn out of Geology graduates at KNUST has drastically increased from between eight and 15 in a year to 100,” Mr Ferdinand K. Aniwa, Information Systems and Communications Manager of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) told the Ghana News Agency.

Ghana discovered oil two years ago off the shores of the Western Region. In June 2007, Tullow Oil of UK officially announced that it had found 600 million barrels of oil at Cape Three Point, now Jubilee Fields, admitting that “this is one of the biggest oil discoveries in Africa in recent times.”

Mr Aniwa said with the expected boom in the oil industry, the need for human capacity development in areas that would position the country to maximize benefits from the industry had become imperative.

The Kofi Anan ICT Centre in collaboration with GNPC had therefore organized a Technology Transformation Seminar on the theme: “Ghana’s Emerging Oil and Gas Industry: The Challenges of ICT accessibility for all,” to whip up local interest in how Ghana could maximize benefits.

Mr Aniwa said GNPC was collaborating with the country’s institutions of higher learning to develop skills in the areas of geology, all aspects of engineering, information and communication technology, administration, finance, economics among others to support the policy government intended to pursue in the oil industry.

“It is refreshing to note that more persons with skills relevant to the industry are now being turned out from our universities.

“We have assured the graduates that they have ready jobs waiting for them at GNPC and in other stakeholder organizations in the industry,” he said.

Currently GNPC provides practical skills training to students in fields related to the oil industry by taking them on attachments and offering data for their dissertations and long essays.

Mr Aniwa said the company had also provided logical and technical support as well as support for scholarship schemes to the universities to enable them to admit more students interested in oil related courses.

He said one other crucial area where skills were most needed was data management for geo-scientific activities, adding that due to the high security nature of that kind of data, there was the need to train local hands to handle it.

“We will need to train geo-scientists, engineers, data managers, ICT experts, librarians, systems administrators and other IT-based experts to handle data for the industry,” he said.

He noted that, currently, most of the data on the industry which used to be manual, had been converted into electronic format, which required skilled persons to manage.
Source: GNA

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