By 2020, Africa's oil and gas production is expected to rise from 12.2 MMboed to 17.5 MMboed. However, following recent discoveries, such as the giant gas fields off the east coast, governments are under renewed pressure to prevent a resurgence of the resource-curse phenomenon. They must ensure that oil and gas developments create domestic jobs and boost the economies of these petroleum-rich countries.

SBC research indicates that, when the industry's entire supply chain is taken into account, the potential for job creation in Africa is much greater than generally thought. By 2020, the continent's oil and gas industry could account for 2.9 million jobs, including those created by oil and gas companies (direct jobs), those created by the broader supply chain (indirect jobs) and those created by economic activities induced by the spending of oil and gas workers (induced jobs).

In order to maximize the benefits to local economies of oil and gas developments, governments and local authorities must identify activities likely to generate the highest number of jobs along the supply chain and determine the most efficient ways of supporting those activities.

However, the supply of adequate numbers of qualified oil and gas industry workers presents a bigger problem. For now, educational institutions lack the capacity to meet the oil and gas industry's labor needs. For example, the industry will need to train more than 1,600 Petrotechnical Professionals per year between now and 2020, to provide the manpower required for expected growth in production.

This article identifies where the biggest potential for job creation lies. It also identifies the activities that require support from local-content policies and examines how these policies should work. It concludes by determining the measures required to make the continent's education systems capable of fulfilling industry needs.

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