Eddie Jharap was born on 24 June 1944 in a small rice-farmers family, with 20 children. He did his pre-university schooling in Suriname and obtained a scholarship from the bauxite company, Suralco, to study geology at the university in the Netherlands. He completed his Masters study in 1970 and returned to Suriname with a job at the Geological and Mining Service of Suriname.
Jharap did fieldwork in the interior for ten years and was at the end also in charge of negotiations for petroleum exploration contracts with foreign oil-companies for the offshore area. To oversee and guide the foreign exploration companies, Jharap started the national petroleum company of Suriname, STAATSOLIE, with activities of its own on the onshore, for learning purposes. In 2006 Jharap retired from STAATSOLIE after building STAATSOLIE into an integrated and profitable petroleum producing company for Suriname.