Nana Kwaku Otchere believes his master’s degree from the University of Dundee enabled him to make great strides at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. He spoke to Nikita Smith about his experience at the Scottish university.
Nana Kwaku Otchere joined the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in 2008 in the economic and monitoring evaluation unit, during a period when the company was embarking on a surge to commercialise their oil and gas production. The corporation was striving to catch up to international industry standards and equip themselves with knowledge to interface with different countries, and it was during this time that Otchere chose to pursue an MSc Economics Oil and Gas at the University of Dundee.
“My experience at Dundee was not an easy one, but I have to say that it is one that is still paying off today,” he commented. The institution was top of the list for Otchere due to the international recognition of its faculty and the solid course material.
“The course content opened my eyes to various aspects of the industry. The lecturers were also from diverse backgrounds, and that enriched the course even further,” said Otchere. The diversity of the students also contributed to his growth both at the university and in his career.
Otchere recalls the oil and gas industry in Ghana 11 years ago as being nascent. “Being in Dundee and interacting with a number of students from international oil- and gas producing countries gave me a different perspective of the industry. The course most certainly broadened my horizons and understanding of the industry and also put things into perspective as to Ghana’s position within the global aspect,” Otchere noted.
The knowledge and experience Otchere gained at the University of Dundee has been instrumental in him climbing the ranks at the GNPC, moving from the economic and monitoring evaluation unit to the executive team where he is currently Principal – Corporate Strategy. He is responsible for the negotiation and decision making processes of international commercial agreements and safeguarding the interests of the state.
Otchere has participated in various industry forums which he finds enormously helpful. “With experience and a solid foundation from the University of Dundee, you are able to engage with your peers on various programs and platforms to establish where the industry is headed, and are able to contribute to making an impact. You have a foundation that is able to affect decision making in industry dynamics,” he added.
When asked if he has any advice for aspiring fellow African and international students interested in pursuing a course at Dundee, Otchere said that with the world being in the era of low carbon energy transitions and other initiatives, the industry is dynamic, so it is important for students to clarify what they would like to focus on. This will enable them to better align with the relevant course options the university has to offer. “The institution is always introducing new programs, looking ahead to equip future leaders within the industry,” he added.
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