Saving Ghana from Its Oil: A Critical Assessment of Preparations So Far Made
Oil discoveries in many resource-rich countries in Africa and beyond have often led to the erosion of democratic processes and institutional structures. The ‘resource curse’ syndrome manifests itself not only through the technical challenges of monetary and fiscal policy decisions but also through the disregard of governments for collective decision-making in a participatory democracy. This paper critically assess the preparations so far made in Ghana following the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in 2007 and argue that even though Ghana is expected to start its first commercial oil production by the late 2010, the country is not really ready to do so. To save the country from its oil, it recommends the need for transparency in the preparatory processes towards the oil production to prevent cover-up for corruption and unaccountable governance. The study also argues that unless Ghana listens to its citizens and increase the degree to which the citizens are able to exercise control over the government whether directly or indirectly through parliament, the nation may be heading for a disappointment.