The Foundation is designed to build local capacity in the oil and gas industry and would award grants and scholarships to finance education and specific industry related training programmes that cut across the oil and gas value-chain.
It would be governed by a five-member Council, chaired by Mr Kwame Peprah, an Investment Consultant with Pastor Andrew K.L. Badoo, as its Executive Secretary.
The other members of the Council are Professor Nana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, Minister of Education, Madam Alexandra Amoako-Mensah, a Consultant in Management of Industrial Minerals, and Mr Samuel Garba Boman I, Administrator of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
During the launch on Wednesday, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye, Chief Executive officer of the GNPC, said the establishment of the Foundation was in fulfillment of GNPC’s mandate of ensuring the training of Ghanaian citizens and the development of national capabilities in all aspects of petroleum operations to enhance returns on Ghana’s investment in the Oil and gas sector.
He explained that the Foundation would remain an autonomous body to be managed on a day-to-day basis by an Executive Secretary and a small team of specialists, and that, the GNPC would appoint the governing council members.
He said the Foundation would, among others, receive funds, invest the funds and donate funds to institutions, projects and individuals that support the development of national capacity in the oil and gas industry.
It would also support the establishment and development of a GNPC petroleum training institute as well as partner other institutions that provide or support oil and gas training in the country.
Nana Asafu-Adjaye said GNPC had already made an initial allocation of three million dollars to the Foundation in 2012, to help realize the potential of people and institutions outside of the GNPC group.
Mr Eric Pwadura, Acting Head, Corporate Affairs at GNPC, explained to the GNA in an interview that the Foundation would by next week, publish in the media, the eligibility criteria for people to apply for the sponsorship package to undertake bachelor, masters, or doctoral degree programmes in universities in Ghana or abroad.
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Power, said the establishment of the Foundation indicates Ghana’s readiness to take charge of the local content and train more local people to work in the oil sector.
He said Government was poised to make the necessary commitment and investment to ensure that the gains of the sector are maximized to the benefit of all Ghanaians, adding that, government intends to invest 20 billion dollars in the oil sector to handle both new discoveries and appraisal of oil and gas.
Mr Buah expressed confidence in the Council members, saying that, they would bring to bear their wealth of working experiences and in the training and manpower development of all Ghanaians who aspire to work in the industry but have no training in the sector.
Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said he was happy that Ghana’s Local Content Policy had now been translated into real action with the setting up of the Foundation to help build the requisite human resource and knowledge for the industry.
Mr Kwame Peprah assured that the Council was committed to work hard and train Ghanaians to help in the development of national capabilities in all aspects of petroleum operations in the country.
“We remain committed to giving opportunities to Ghanaian nationals through a strong recruitment and training programme, aimed at boosting local capacity in the industry. The Foundation will partner with government to create strategic learning opportunities that would enable Ghanaians to increase their involvement in and control of our national resources for their benefit”, Mr Peprah noted.