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Project September 4, 2015

Ghana: What are the Effects of Relying on Offshore Drilling for Economic Development?


Media file: c.well_from_view_of_fishing_boat_copy.jpg
Oil production vessels like this now dot the west coast of Ghana. Employees will usually work for a few weeks on the vessel and then for a few weeks on the mainland. This photo was captured from a traditional fishing canoe, the main method of navigating the ocean for most of Ghana's fishermen. Image by John Soper. Ghana, 2015.

After the discovery of oil off the Ghanaian coastline in 2007, it would only take three years for drilling to begin. Given the history of oil resources in the West African region, the drilling would have to be managed effectively in order to ensure that the country, and its citizens, were not taken advantage of in the process.

Despite initial success in Ghana, the future prosperity of the oil industry will be determined by how well companies respond to current concerns: Will allegations that companies pay Ghanaian workers less than expatriate workers in the same job continue? What will be the consequences of labor demonstrations? How has the drilling affected local fishermen? Is the government properly enforcing the laws regulating oil? And how can the revenue be injected back into the communities affected by drilling?