BP today announced in Baku the beginning of two important projects - the Business Journalism Course and the BP Scholarship Programme as part of the company's long-term commitment to Azerbaijan's successful future.
The Business Journalism Course is a new BP initiative for Azerbaijan which the company will implement jointly with two other international organizations - the British Council and the Thompson Foundation.
"Our guiding principle in supporting this project is to promote truthful, independent, intelligent journalism that is based on the accurate reporting of facts - whether those facts are favourable to us or not," says Bill Schrader, BP's President in Azerbaijan.
"We hope that this new programme will provide a unique opportunity for people who are united by their enthusiasm and commitment to a career in journalism, and encourage them to think what they can do for their nation to improve the standards of business journalism here. Indeed, most of the applicants stated during the selection process that they wanted to gain international credibility and hoped their work would eventually be published internationally. This is exactly what the project aims to achieve."
This project is designed as a continuation of the other initiatives BP has supported previously. It builds on the successful programme of English language training for a large group of Azerbaijani journalists sponsored by BP and run by the British Council for over the past decade.
Participants in the programme will be 12 journalists that have been selected through a highly competitive process from among some 50 business journalists, representing all branches of the media applied from newspapers, news agencies and television. For about a year these journalists will take business reporting classes in English from Thompson Foundation experts and the most successful ones will receive international certificates.
The second project is the BP Scholarship Programme which was launched in December 2006. Since that time eight finalists have been selected from among 71 applications to pursue MBA, MPA or MSc courses at top rank UK universities for 2007-2008 programme. The programme covers a variety of discipline areas including public administration, banking, finance, accounting and economics.
The BP Scholarship Programme intends to promote economic and social development in Azerbaijan by enabling bright young Azerbaijani professionals to undertake postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom - and that on their return to Azerbaijan they contribute to the prosperity and sustainable development of the country.
As the operator of Azerbaijan's major oil and gas development and transportation projects BP will continue to make education and training a particular focus and plans to continue to invest resources in such initiatives.
Tamam Bayatly at BP’s Press Office in Baku, telephone: 994 (0) 12 599 4557