15th May 2017, Bagamoyo – The Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute) has launched a regional negotiation skills training programme on oil and gas targeting senior officials from Africa ­­– with the aim of equipping them with the necessary skills and techniques to bargain and secure lucrative deals that will benefit their respective countries.

The regional training which was launched in Bagamoyo last week consisted of a team of 30 participants from 8 different potential and producing oil and gas nations from Sub-Saharan Africa, namely; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. Participants came from different backgrounds including Economists, Geologists, Lawyers, Environmentalists; Land, Water and Trade experts.

“The objective of this programme is to strengthen the participants’ negotiation capacities and competencies in oil and natural gas commercial contracts and investments deals,” said Prof. Joseph Semboja, Chief Executive Officer of UONGOZI Institute.

He added, “Our ultimate goal is to prepare each official of the negotiation team for actual negotiations, focusing on strategy and skills required for successful negotiations with international oil companies.”

This training programme will also equip the participants with requisite negotiation skills and techniques to enable them to define and achieve strategic national objectives during complex negotiations for sustainable development.

According to the Head of Capacity Building at UONGOZI Institute, Mr. Singo Kadari, the course is being delivered in collaboration with international experts from Columbia University, Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) in New York, and the International Senior Lawyers’ Project (ISLP). The delivery of the programme will employ a blended approach involving lectures, presentations, discussion, sharing of practical experiences, role play simulations and case studies.

The programme will have two sessions; negotiation skills for natural resources with focus to oil and natural gas sectors’ commercial contracts which took place from 8th to 12th May, 2017, and a second session to take place from the 19th to 21st June 2017.

Commenting on the training programme, one of the participants, Mr. Ali Bakar, who is the Deputy Managing Director of the Zanzibar Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ZPRA) said, “This is very critical for Zanzibar..as we are in the early stages of exploring oil and gas. We have just started to hold talks with International Oil Companies..and therefore need this kind of expertise to make sure that we negotiate appropriately and seal contracts that are profitable for the people and government of Zanzibar.”

Another participant, Ms. Maggy Shino, Petroleum Commissioner from Ministry of Energy and Mines in Namibia said that the training programme created an excellent platform for participants from Namibia to engage with fellow oil and gas experts from different countries in Africa which have already started producing and have gained more experience in the field already.

“The training enabled us to learn first-hand from our colleagues, to learn what they have done so far, to study their pitfalls and what they hope to achieve,” said Ms. Shino, adding, “I really liked the delivery of the training, it was well tailored and structured, thought provoking and realistic to the current industry trend.”

Courses include Fundamentals of Oil and Gas, Legal framework for Oil and Gas, Fiscal Framework, Primary Methods for Granting the Right to Develop Oil and Gas, Planning and Revenue Management, Local Content and Economic Diversification, and Key issues arising from an analysis of African Production Sharing Agreement.