Local Actors’ Interest and Negotiation Strategies for Benefits in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Sector
Since Ghana’s oil discovery in 2007, the question of how the resource will benet aected communities and who holds the responsibly is still a subject of debate. Will the benets be negotiated by local actors or will benets ow automatically from the state and oil companies? Guided by the actor-oriented theoretical foundation, the paper qualitatively examines how dierent actors have emerged in the Western Region of Ghana to negotiate for benets from the oil nd. Two qualitative case studies were conducted on sher folks and youth groups to examine the processes, dynamics and outcomes of their negotiations. The results show that disenfranchised youth and sher folks, who feel dispossessed of their livelihood, have resorted to social mobilisation and contentious political bargaining strategies to negotiate for their benefits and to channel their grievances. Alternative livelihoods, jobs for locals and improvement in social infrastructural development are the primary requests of the local actors. The paper concludes that local actors’ interests are varied and negotiations are largely unregulated. Local actors constantly accuse oil companies for not prioritising their needs. State coherent policies and structures to mediate the negotiation processes between local actors, companies and the state are therefore recommended to avoid violent conicts.
Keywords: Local Actors, Negotiation, Local Benets, Oil and Gas, Ghana