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The scheme, which forms a key part of Tullow's overall approach to education and capacity building, will support postgraduate degree, technical training and vocational studies.

The scholarships aim to support local people to participate in the oil and gas industry, and in other sectors that promote economic diversification. The scheme will address both existing industry skills gaps and national capacity development requirements and is aligned with Tullow's aim of supporting long-term socio-economic growth in countries where it operates.

The scheme will be run through a partnership between Tullow and the British Council - an internationally recognised service provider in the area of scholarship management and partnership brokerage in higher education around the world. The British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. With a strong profile in Africa the British Council has a great deal of experience in running educational programmes to support development goals and priorities.

The British Council works in over 100 countries in the Arts, Education and English language. It is an independent and non-political organisation, with a global mission to connect people world-wide with learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK. The choice of a reputable third party to administer the scholarships is to ensure independence and fairness, and the British Council has a track record of effective management of similar schemes. 

A pilot phase began in September 2011, when 24 Ghanaians from the public sector began to pursue their Masters Level studies with leading universities in the United Kingdom.

Commenting today, Aidan Heavey, CEO of Tullow Oil Plc, said:

"This whole scheme is about developing potential - the potential that Tullow sees around it in Africa every day.  Developing local talent for the oil industry makes good business sense for us, and it makes sense for oil producing countries to develop talent beyond oil.  This is a great opportunity for anyone who has thought about this and wants to make a real contribution to the future of their country."

The full Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme which is being launched today will have up to 110 scholarship awards this year allocated across the following countries Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mauritania, Cote d'Ivoire, French Guiana and Bangladesh. Scholarships are available to those who are committed to making a contribution to their respective country's development.

This year fifty scholarship awards from the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme are available to all Ghanaian members of the public who meet the set criteria through a competitive process. Details of the application process and eligibility criteria are available from the British Council website:

www.tullowgroupscholarshipscheme.org