SOGA was initiated by the UK and German governments in the beginning of 2015 with the aim to foster employment opportunities for women, men and youth in and around the oil & gas supply chain and related sectors in four Eastern African countries, namely Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The employment opportunities are to be achieved through demand driven and practically oriented skills development interventions, which aim to increase the employability of local people. In addition, enterprise development activities will be organized to improve the competitiveness of local companies to act as service and goods providers for oil and gas contractor companies. SOGA is a five year programme, implemented by the German development agency, GIZ. Norway is sponsoring the programme with around NOK 80 million during the period.
One of the major partners of the SOGA initiative is the private sector, including the oil and gas industry, supply chain and related areas. The inception phase of the project strengthened interaction with the private sector and identified common areas for partnership and collaboration. Besides the private sector, SOGA is also working closely with relevant government departments, training institutions and civil society organisations in order to integrate the programme into national processes and structures.
The SOGA Annual Regional Conference brought together the SOGA teams from the four Eastern African countries, GIZ and DFID, the private sector, relevant government representatives, training institutions, civil society organisations, representatives from Norad and the Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi, as well as other guests. The strategic approaches of the four SOGA countries were shared, experiences from the private sector on employment opportunities for skilled local labour in the relevant supply chains were discussed, and insight from participating organisations on how qualified local service providers can benefit from oil and gas investments and enhance local engagement were highlighted.