Business, Finance & Economics

Ghana's new riches

These fishermen will soon head out fishing on multi-day expeditions, and they've lived this way for centuries. But the fish docks are disappearing, so some are looking to the oil rigs that are starting to pop up offshore. All along the coast, expectations are building and at this school, students dream of a country enriched by oil resources. There are also fears borne of experience. This economist is an advisor to the outgoing president. He estimates oil could bring in millions of dollars every year but he wonders who will benefit. He grew up in a fishing village himself, and says the local communities must benefit from their resources and if they don't, it could lead to agitations. Violence, corruption and crime have grown in neighboring Nigeria and the locals there complain that they have nothing to show for their nation's oil wealth. The company running the show in Ghana says that won't happen here and that they've already started to engage with the local communities. This government committee chair acknowledges the risks and Ghana's own struggles with corruption, but he's relying on Ghana's relative stability and political maturity to see it through any tensions that arise. He says the government has tried to manage expectations as much as anything. The oil is scheduled to start flowing in less than two years. But with no clear plans in place and fewer fish in the seas, these villages face an uncertain future.

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