Vol. 9 No.3: Averting the Resource Curse in Ghana; the need for Accountability by Anna Cavnar
01 October, 2008
Since Ghana struck oil in its western waters last year, the government has been busy. In the euphoric days immediately following the discovery, the President declared that Ghana would avoid the “resource curse” and use its new-found oil wealth to transform the country’s economic and social development. In February 2008, to jump-start the revolution, the government hosted the National Forumon Oil and Gas Development, where representatives from government, the private sector and the international community discussed the challenges of oil industry regulation.
The government also organized several regional meetings, inviting local government officials, chiefs and some civil societygroups to contribute their thoughts on oil policy. The President then brought together select officials to develop the Fundamental Petroleum Policy for Ghana, which broadly sketches the government’s oil policy, essentially committing it to pursuing sound management strategies that guarantee optimal extraction, revenue maximization, sound fiscal management, minimal environmental and social disruption, and local development. It also includes a basic overview of regulatory issues such as licensing and exploration.