Oil Management and the Resource Curse in Ghana: the role of civil society

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The so-called ‘Resource curse’ has manifested in several resource rich countries in the African continent. When Ghana found oil in 2007, the finding was consequently accompanied by high hopes of economic growth and increased social welfare (blessing), but also fear that they oil would increase corruption and political patronage (curse). The resource curse literature identifies extensive checks and balances on the governing elite as necessary for overcoming the resource curse, and an active civil society is assumed to play an important part in this. Through qualitative interviews with civil society actors, this thesis aims to understand the role played by civil society in the management of Ghana’s oil resources. The thesis concludes that while democracy in Ghana cannot ensure that the country escapes the resource curse, it has allowed the emergence of a vibrant civil society with real political space and legitimacy. Oil governance in the country however, lacks important oversight structures, partly due to gaps in the legislative framework, and partly due to executive dominance in Ghana’s political life. This complicates civil society’s role to monitor oil sector activity, and consequently to play the important role identified by the literature: to hold their leaders accountable.

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