Redefining The Game; Tullow’s Bet On Ghana’s Tomorrow

Axim is noted for many things in Ghana – Aside it being the area that records the highest rainfall in Ghana, it is also renowned for its people and their love for education. In fact, Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, taught as a pupil teacher here, while dreaming of making it big in politics.

Located in the western region, Axim is also part of the seven coastal areas identified by Tullow Ghana for community empowerment and support in line with its operational agenda as an oil and gas company in the country.

In an age of transformation and dynamism, multinational companies like Tullow, have elevated their commitment to the localities and environments where they operate, believing that what matters to these communities, matter to them as well. It is oft said that the true test of a company is its commitment to the areas where its operations can be found.

This is why, Tullow Ghana in 2019, committed to invest $10m over five years in educational infrastructure for 15 senior high schools in Ghana. This commitment has so far produced great results with the building of 12 dormitory blocks and classroom blocks for 12 senior high schools in the Western and Ashanti regions. These buildings have the capacity to accommodate an average of 500 students each at any given time annually, solving a key accommodation gap in our nation’s second cycle education. The dormitory facilities are fitted with improved water supply system, electricity, toilet and bathrooms, laundry area and dry lines, to give the occupants a perfect ambiance to rest and get ready for academic work.

At Axim Girls’ Senior High School recently, a section of Tullow’s leadership, together with the traditional authorities, representatives from Ghana Education Service and government officials, met to commission one of such dormitories for the students in the school. This was a 14-unit block that would eliminate long commutes and provide a conducive environment for learning.

Cynthia Lumor, Deputy Managing Director of Tullow and Hannah Agbozo, Head of Legal, were all smiles when they got to the event grounds. Students and teachers had gathered for the spectacle, there was a general buzz of activity and excitement in the school. As they strode along the manicured lawns to take their seats, a group of first year students, clad in snazzy pink uniforms, smiled and waved at them. It was very clear that the hopes and dreams of these students were being given another elevated step towards realisation.

In many ways, this dormitory is an open door to a new life for some of these students. Normally, they’d wake up early in the morning in their homes, perform a raft of domestic chores, before walking several kilometers to school. Now thanks to this initiative by Tullow, these students can now get a place to lay their heads, be near their friends and teachers and achieve their academic dreams in an atmosphere of peace and comfort.

“Our students are the future of this country, and we are happy to play a role in harnessing their creative, innovative skills and talent for maximum future impact. We envision a future where every child has access to quality education, regardless of their circumstances or place of birth; and we invite the community to join us in this mission,” said Cynthia in her address at the commissioning.

Awulae Attibrukusu III, Paramount Chief of Lower Axim Traditional Area, and Founder of Axim Girls SHS, also had words of commendation for Tullow, highlighting the company’s role in promoting education in the area.

Back in 2019, Axim Girls’ was ranked 37 out of 37 Senior high schools in the region. The school, founded by Awulae and handed over to Ghana Education Service, was without direction and lacked the capacity to attract some of the best students across the country. Following interventions made by the school authorities and with Tullow’s ever-present support, this situation started changing. In 2020, the seeds of hard work and determination became evident. The school’s ranking jumped from 37 to 30 and reached 15 in 2021. Today, Axim Girls’ is number 6 in the entire Western region – a story of resilience mixed with fortitude and zeal.

As Rachael Croffie, Headmistress of the school said, “Tullow’s contributions to the infrastructure, the students’ wellbeing and focused minds, have increased the school’s reputation for excellence beyond academics.”

As the sun was setting on Axim’s vibrant school, the delegation led by Cynthia and the Paramount Chief cut the ribbon at the entrance to the dormitory. There were loud cheers from the crowd. Overlooking from the top floor of the dormitory, a massive billboard shimmers. On it are three students from the school, beaming with smiles. An inscription above their head says, “We are building a better future for Ghana,” – an apt description of Tullow’s mission in Ghana.Beyond Tullow Ghana’s leadership role and tremendous impact in the oil and gas sector, it is in its commitment to the communities, to education, to livelihood enhancement and other initiatives, that its value and benefits have found true expression.