Recent discoveries of oil and gas deposits in some African countries, such as Ghana, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Uganda etc. present new opportunities to chart a sustainable growth and development path that facilitates poverty reduction. Ghana’s offshore Jubilee field, situated approximately 60 kilometers from the mainland is estimated to have oil reserves of 108 billion barrels as well as significant gas deposits.

Ghana’s Jubilee field, which began official commercial production in mid-December 2010, is initially expected to produce 55,000 barrels of oil per day with output set to rise to 120,000 barrels per day over the next six months The newly discovered natural resources and the associated windfalls are expected to be used to deliver substantial social, economic and infrastructure improvements in these African countries.

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The masses of unemployed youth are looking forward to new jobs; local fishermen fear losing their livelihoods while others are anticipating increased national prosperity and a possible end to donor dependence and conditionality. However, many countries have failed to leverage their natural resource wealth to build strong and stable states with sustained long term economic growth. For some of these countries (for example Nigeria),oil, gas and mineral wealth have instead become associated with high poverty rates, weak state institutions, corruption and conflict.

There is therefore the need to have a broader ‘understanding of the processes, drivers, threats and opportunities related to the management of the energy and hydrocarbon industry in the 21st century’ and to effectively manage our oil and gas resources for the general good. It is in a quest to have this expertise that I am applying to study for the MSc. Oil and Gas Management Programme which I believe will equip me with the expertise required for leadership and management in the World’s fastest growing and dynamic sector.

After a careful review of the structure and content of the Oil and Gas management programmes offered by other Universities, I have been attracted by the uniqueness of the MSc. Oil and Gas Management at the Coventry University. The Uniqueness of the programme stems mainly from its holistic nature. The programme offers opportunities for focused graduate-level study and learning in all aspects of Oil and Gas with the option for students to concentrate their courses and research on specific field of the oil and gas industry.

In so doing, participants would acquire a comprehensive appreciation of the various strands of Oil and Gas Management. I am particularly excited about the Project management and Risk management component of the programme considering the sensitive nature of the oil and gas industry. I undertook a two week short course in Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa organised by the Geography department in collaboration with USAID and hope to learn more on that which pertains to oil and gas industry.

Additionally, my interest in the programme has been heightened by the department’s highly reputed faculty and their research in all aspects of the programme. The opportunity for students to have access to faculty for one-on-one supervision will enhance my ability to conduct research effectively obtaining a qualification from this well respected university is therefore an invaluable asset and will provide a strong edge in my future career.

The strong foundation that I have obtained in during my undergraduate studies in Political science with courses in Human resource Management and Development as well as my association with the Trent University’s Diploma in Community development will enhance my ability to participate productively in the programme. These academic undertakings have sharpened my critical thinking abilities, enhanced my capacity for independent work, and also broadened my experiences in group-based assignments. During my studies I selected modules on key developmental issues confronting Africa including sustainable development among others.

These modules were particularly relevant; as they enabled me obtain a broad overview of the development discourse in Africa and Ghana for that matter. I hope bring along this unique experiences and expertise to enliven the learning experience of other students. I undertook a mandatory National Service with the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, where I assisted my boss in secretarial work as well as gathering relevant research material for teaching and research. I also assisted him in his research work on the field and articipated in questionnaire administration, audio recordings and taking pictures.

I particularly was involved in field surveys concerning customary land tenure, and security of tenure among migrant farmers in the Western part of Ghana. Some of these researches resulted in dissemination workshops of which I participated in workshop facilitation and report drafting. I am currently studying for a Diploma in Community development, a programme in international Development Studies organised by the Trent University of Canada in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana.

My studies have broadened my understanding of key development issues confronting our continent and for that matter Ghana my country. As a student with some sixteen Canadians and three other Ghanaians I have studied courses that explored the relevant developments themes on Ghana and Africa, exploring the local dynamics of change. I believe I have the multi-cultural experience and can study with people of diverse background and opinions. I believe the unique blend of experiences above has made me a man with an original point of view.

This has given me a broader perspective to, and a good understanding of life. Among other things, I have this diversity of experience to offer in the MSc Oil and Gas Management Programme at the Coventry University. I assure you of my readiness to return home upon completion of the course to make the knowledge and expertise acquired useful to the effective and efficient management of the oil and gas sector for the development of my country.