domingo, 14 de junio de 2009

"In 10 years time Ghana will be a very prosperous nation"

According to Ghana's finance minister, Mr. Duffuor...

This is type of enthuiasm authorities in that country give to the recent discovery of offshore oil reserves. This type of optimism is further sustained when the minister argues:

"...We've seen what others that have found oil have gone through and we've looked at their mistakes..." (BBC, 3 June 2009)

One could argue that these type of bold arguments is what fuels the general public hope for a radical and sudden quality of life increase that will precisely play against any type of policy preventing Ghana to be another example of the resource curse. Better argue that in 2020 Ghana's development level will reach that of Nigeria or Côte d'Ivoire's, countries that are richer now than Ghana in terms of GDP per capita, so people will actually know what to wait of this oil discovery in the short run, i.e. almost nothing. That was the case of Norway when it discovered its oil fields in the 1960s. The main challenge the country faces now, if it really wants to be prosperous in the medium run, is not to loose its non oil export sectors. If oil exports increase so fast that they crowd out the rest of the exporting sectors, the long term growth perspectives in Ghana will be seriously endangered.