When in No¬vember 2013 Ghana’s law¬makers passed regulations for local content in its nascent oil industry, Afua Amissah must have seen that feat as a cause for celebration as well as a challenge for her.
The regulations are aimed at providing a transparent monitoring system to meet the objectives of the govern¬ment’s local content policy.
As the country’s head of Local Content, Ministry of Energy, the task before
Amissah is clearly cut out and enormous at that.
She is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the development of policies and practices to ensure that local companies in Ghana have fair access to business opportunities in the oil and gas sectors.
Just two weeks ago, tension was said to have mounted at the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, operating in the Jubilee oil fields off the coast of Ghana as three Ghanaian workers were reportedly dismissed from the fields and foreigners took over their jobs.
This is just an example of cases Ghanaian oil and gas workers would expect Amis¬sah to wade into and ensure that jobs that should be done by local workers are not given to expatriates.
Ghana’s Petroleum (Local Content and Local Participa¬tion) Regulation is designed to create jobs and boost the use of local expertise, goods, services, business and financing in the petroleum industry value chain.
Under the new law, Ghanaian companies will be given first preference in bids for petroleum licenses. There will also be a minimum of 5 percent equity stake for local companies in every oil contract awarded to an international investor. The government hopes the law can help achieve at least 90 percent local participation in the oil sector by 2020.
Amissah, who joined the Ministry of Energy in 2010, is said to have successfully managed complex projects in Information Technology, Telecom and Finance in multinational organizations across Europe, United States and Ghana.
She holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from the University of Science and Technology in Ghana and a Masters Degree in Manage¬ment Information Systems from Washington University in St. Louis, USA.
The task of monitoring and enforcing the local con¬tent law lies squarely on her shoulder as the coordinator of the local content policy.
But the major obstacles that might hamper her efforts at implementing the local content and local participation policy include the lack of local capacity and capabilities in the oil and gas industry and funding chal¬lenges facing local businesses servicing the oil and gas industry.