Gas do Búzi: Poor training of local workforce could lead to exclusion of young people and social upheaval

Gás do Búzi: Má formação da mão-de-obra local pode levar à exclusão de jovens e convulsão social

The host communities of the gas exploration project in the district of Búzi, in Sofala province, are denouncing the lack of transparency in the publication of job opportunities.

The government, according to Center for Public Integrity (CIP), received 2.75 million dollars between 2009 and 2023 to train staff in these communities. The aim is to integrate their workforce into the project. But CIP says that such training is of poor quality and can alienate local young people from the objectives. The organization foresees discontent and social conflicts. For CIP, this prediction is the result of a lack of transparency in the management of the project.

"The communities of Inharongue and Matire, in the district of Búzi Sede, which are hosting this project, have expressed discontent at their exclusion from employment opportunities due to a lack of involvement in the process," reads a study by the NGO published today.

The paper notes that in 2009 Buzi Hydricarbons, from Indonesia, received 75% from the National Hydrocarbons Company (ENH). There was no public tender, i.e. it was a direct agreement. ENH received 100% of the government concession, without a tender.

The company is studying two ways of exploiting Búzi's gas, either by setting up a factory in the district, or by building a gas pipeline between Búzi and Inharrime, in Inhambane province. "The first possibility is the one that could bring the greatest benefits to the district, both in terms of employment and development."

"During the interviews carried out in the field research in Búzi, it became clear that the population has little knowledge of the training activities for this project. The population was unaware of the training activities carried out by the government to equip local people with the technical skills to respond to both the research phase and the development and production phase. However, the Administrator of the Búzi district, João Saize Duarte, said that there were some initiatives to create short courses in the areas of construction, electricity and locksmithing for young people in the community. The research team was unable to verify the veracity of this information on the ground," we read.

The CIP foresees that employment opportunities for local people will be taken up by staff from other latitudes. It also found that Buzi Hydrocarbons does not fulfill its social responsibilities. The company leaves this responsibility to the local government.

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