Maputo — The South African petro-chemical giant Sasol, in partnership with the Mozambican Ministry of Mineral Resources, on Wednesday offered scholarships to a group of 30 Mozambican students.
The beneficiaries will undertake five year training courses in engineering, sciences and marketing. 20 of the students will study in Mozambican universities, and the remaining ten in South Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony, the director of Sasol International, Ebbie Haan, said that the scholarship programme is an important step that seeks to guarantee adequate training for Mozambicans who may come to work in the hydrocarbon sector, and to increase the number of Mozambicans trained in the various skills required at Sasol. She hoped that within five years the students would end their courses successfully and would come to work at Sasol.
For her part, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Bias, explained that the students will have the chance to be exposed to vocational programmes and work.
At Sasol, they would have access to a variety of technical knowledge, and to a training environment that would be important for their future professional activity.
Bias believed this would be “the first step in Sasol’s contribution to the training of these young people who are currently not working at Sasol. This means that the companies and the government are concerned about the training of these students from various parts of the country”.
Speaking in the name of the scholarship holders, Vania Martinho expresed her satisfaction at this opportunity, since the majority of the beneficiaries would never have had an opportunity to attend higher education.
“This is the happiest moment of our lives”, she said. “We are going to start a new phase and we are aware of the challenges we shall face. But with determination and persistence we shall overcome all the barriers, and we shall ensure that these investors will not regret offering us these scholarships”.
For the next five years, Sasol will disburse about 390,000 US dollars every year on scholarships. The 30 beneficiaries were selected from schools where they had completed mid-level education.
Sasol’s main activity in Mozambique is the extraction and treatment of natural gas from the Pande and Temane fields in the southern province of Inhambane. It is also exploring for hydrocarbons in other parts of the country.