Scottish firms to tap into East Africa’s developing market

Published: 7 Apr 2015 06:30

Growth Strategies: Exporting

TWELVE Scottish organisations – from business and academia – with an interest in the oil and gas sector, headed off to Mozambique and Tanzania last month to break into East Africa’s up-and-coming market.

Organised by Scottish Development International (SDI), the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, and supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and Aberdeen City Council, the trip followed a visit to Scotland by Mr Guebuza, a former president of Mozambique who requested the country’s help, in 2013.

SDI’s regional manager in Africa, Gary Soper, said: “East Africa is a pioneering market, and with 150 trillion cubic feet of gas discovered off the East Africa Coast in deepwater, Scotland’s unrivalled deepwater subsea delivery and offshore experience makes us the perfect partner to help bring it into production.”

Operators in East Africa – Anadarko, ENI, BG, Shell, Ophir, Petrobras and ENH – are expected to spend approximately $2 billion to bring the fields to production. A good percentage of that, according to East Africa Oil & Gas laws, needs to be delivered locally. This means as well as capacity building, operators will need to substantially invest in education and training - around 25,000 people will require training at a technical and vocational level as well as higher education.

The global reputation of Scotland’s Oil & Gas education and training providers means it is well placed to support this opportunity. As such, five of the 12 companies on the trip were education and training companies including the university, college and private sector.

New research delivered by SDI in November 2014 has highlighted vast opportunities for Scottish further and higher education institutions as well as private sector providers in these key markets. The two reports provide an overview of the sector, details of specific skills gaps and training requirements and collaboration opportunities to help address the gaps.

The trip followed the newly-announced £25 million UK Skills for Oil and Gas programme, led by DFID and supported by BG Group which aims to create jobs and boost incomes for local populations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique through training opportunities.

Soper added: “We know there are huge opportunities for Scottish education companies in Mozambique and Tanzania and working together, we aim to help our institutions and companies make the right connections and capitalise on the opportunities.

“Scotland has a strong and ambitious oil and gas sector, and despite the difficult market conditions, companies remain focused to deliver their long term growth potential by opening up new markets both at home and overseas.”

UKTI Chief Executive Dominic Jermey said: “East Africa has a wealth of opportunities from both onshore and offshore oil and gas discoveries, which we in the UK are well placed to help them develop.

“UKTI, working with partner organisations, is actively promoting these opportunities in the UK from areas across the supply chain including sub-sea equipment, oil & gas education and local content development among many others. We are delighted to be supporting this SDI trade mission to the area and would encourage anyone who wants to know more to get in touch.”

Jump to first paragraph.