African Journal of International Affairs

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Avoiding the Oil Curse in Ghana: Is Transparency Sufficient?

F Obeng-Odoom


This article assesses measures put in place by the government of Ghana to manage Ghana’s newly found oil. It uncovers two actors – the people in the ‘oil communities’ and the oil companies – that have been ‘forgotten’ by the government and yet are critical to unlocking the so-called ‘oil blessing’. It is argued that the existing policies do not sufficiently account for the peculiar needs of the communities in which oil will be drilled. The existing policy paradigm implies that the activities of the oil companies might set in motion corrupt practices among public officials and worsen the plight of the poor.

Key Words: Oil, poor, curse, corruption, Ghana, activism.

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