Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that seeks to build the country’s capacity in oil and gas exploration.
The MoU will, among others, see Must—the country ’s newest and fourth functional public university—introducing a new degree programme, Bachelor of Science in Petroleum (Oil and Gas), during the coming cademic year.
Speaking after signing the agreement at Must in Thyolo yesterday, Must vice chancellor Address Malata said the country has no capacity to handle the oil and gas industry; hence, the introduction of the new programme. She said: “Oil and gas exploration are critical issues for the country.
Currently, the sector is growing, but we are still using expertise from
outside Malawi because we have few trained people in the field.”
Malata said the university would ensure that the country has enough skills
in petroleum exploration geologists, geophysics, geochemists, oil and gas
lawyers, economists for the growth of the sector.
On his part, Gusto Mabvuto, director of finance and administration
in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, said after looking at its mandate government thought of collaborating
with the university as it attempts to develop the sector.
There is growing interest in the exploration of oil in Lake Malawi amid
growing resistance from conservationists but the country has already
awarded contracts to several companies.
In March this year, President Peter Mutharika said it was high time the
country moved forward and told those worrying about the oil exploration in the lake that once the process starts measures will be put in place to protect it.