How Many Times Has Ghana Won The World Cup Preparing For Oil Boom in Ghana – Any Lessons From Others?

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Preparing For Oil Boom in Ghana – Any Lessons From Others?

Don’t forget this simple but sagacious Ghanaian proverb that admonishes us: “If Sunday be a glorious day, Saturday will fire the taper.”

Ghana is one of the most blessed lands in Africa. Ghana is very, very rich in mineral resources. Ghana is endowed with gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese etc. Ghana has cocoa, timber, arable lands, and rivers, rain forests, nourished by alternating rains and illuminated by tropical sunshine throughout the year.

However, Ghana has long been politically mismanaged by corrupt politicians and selfish military adventurers who could make a shipload of cocoa to be general on the Atlantic Ocean. This explains why Ghana had to be baptized a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) in the country’s economic history.

In June 2007, just three months after Ghana celebrated its Golden Jubilee anniversary, on 6 March of that year, an American oil exploration company called Kosmos Energy in collaboration with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) went to the Osu Castle in Accra to see the President of the Republic of Ghana, HE Mr John Agyekum Kufuor. In traditional Ghanaian fashion, President Kufuor and his elders sat to listen to the scientific and technological visitors.

The leader of Kosmos Energy, Mr. James C. Musselman, who is also the Chairman and CEO of that oil exploration company, told the presidential linguist to inform the President that they had brought him good news. The President then responded: “In Ghanaian culture, news cannot be said to be good or bad until it is reported. So, therefore, I, the first public servant of the country and my presidential elders are all ears to hear the news you have come. this dawn when we have not yet put a drop of water on our tongues.”

It was then that Mr Musselman told the presidential linguist to inform HE that he and his partners had come to announce to the President that Kosmos Energy had discovered oil in commercial quantities off the coast of the Republic of Ghana on the West Cape Three Point Block in the west. region of the country. At first it seemed that the President had not heard the message properly. So, he adjusted himself in his royal / presidential armchair, cleared his throat and ordered the presidential linguist to order the Kosmos engineer to repeat his message. Then Mr Musselman, a little worried, as if he had made some mistake, and with a nervous voice said: “Please, eagerly -Okyeame, I would kindly inform His Excellency the President that our mission here this morning is announced to him, our company has discovered about 600 million barrels of light oil offshore his beloved country – Ghana.

One would have expected the President to immediately jump to his feet and start celebrating. Instead President Kufuor questioned further: “Okyeame, ask the Kosmos engineer what is the proof that Ghana has discovered oil as he claims.” Then, Mr Musselman put his hand into a goatskin leather bag and brought out a bottle of dark brown liquid. Some of the liquid was poured onto a plate. To a layman like this writer, the said liquid looked a lot like pure honey. “Take this,” said Mr Musselman, “present to HE that this is the proof that Ghana has oil flowing under the sea in the Western Region.”

It was only after President Kufuor held the sample of the oil in his own hand and dipped his own fingers in the honey-like liquid and smelled it before he nodded his approval that Ghana had discovered oil in actually commercial size. President Kufuor then repeated what he said in his broadcast to the nation on the eve of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary: ​​”IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A GHANAIAN.”

President Kufuor then expressed his personal gratitude and the people of Ghana to Kosmos and its partners for the great work done. He quickly warned that honesty, transparency and the spirit of a win-win principle must guide the operations of oil companies exploring the “black gold” in Ghana. The President was speaking from experience in terms of the living conditions of people and communities where the red gold of Ghana has been mined since time immemorial and the environmental degradation is being left to generations yet to be born.

On Tuesday, June 10, 2008, the entire front page of the Daily Graphic was devoted solely to the business of oil discovery in Ghana. In fact, the banner headline for that day reads: Well test gives positive results. OIL – 120,000 BARRELS PER DAY – Production expected to rise in 2012. This headline was shown with a lead photo where President JAKufuor was seen congratulating Mr James Musselman, CEO of Kosmos Energy, after the latter briefed the President on the latest development in the country’s oil discovery. In the same photo was seen Mr. George Owusu, who is said to be the Ghanaian representative of Kosmos, as well as Mr. Sekyere Abankwa, the Chairman of the Board of GNPC.

The first paragraph of this lead story, written by Nehemia Owusu Achiaw, read: “Commercial oil production is expected to begin in the country in the first quarter of 2010 with an initial output of 120,000 barrels per day.”

The second most important story on the front page of the paper that day was also about oil exploration in Ghana. It stated: “…41 companies apply for exploration” The opening paragraph reads: “The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) says it has been inundated with applications from foreign companies expressing interest to invest in oil exploration between January 2007 and June 2008.”

The purpose of this piece is simply to remind the people of this country that whether we like it or not, Ghana is on the way from an Oil Importing Country (OIC) to an Oil Exporting Country (OEC). In other words, all things being equal, there will be an oil boom in Ghana, sooner than expected, judging from what experts in the industry are saying. Naturally, this calls for jubilation. But it is important for us as a nation to tread carefully so that the discovery of oil in Ghana is a blessing and not a curse.

For now this writer would like to cite only two oil producing countries in Africa, namely Nigeria and Libya and warn Ghanaians to note how those countries are managing their oil boom for the benefit of their people. It seems that something is not being done right in the management of the oil industry in Nigeria. As a result the delta oil rich region is being environmentally degraded. Media reports indicate that the level of poverty of people living in that oil rich region of Nigeria is nothing to write home about. Why? No further comments for now.

On the other hand, Libya seems to be doing something that deserves to be emulated by Ghana. This writer has learned that there is not a single school child in Libya who is not in school. That no adult citizen of that country has an apartment to himself. In fact, Libya is a country located in the middle of a desert in northern Africa. But Libya has been able to create an artificial river thousands of kilometers long and is in the process of transforming the desert into a virgin rainforest zone through irrigation schemes. How are Ghanaians preparing for an oil boom in Ghana? Do they learn any lessons from others?

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