Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
With a democratic touch rare in a region better known for dictators, Ghana is asking its citizens what it should do with the windfall from oil production due to start later this year.
In a questionnaire entitled “The Use and Management of Oil and Gas Revenues – A Survey of Public Choices” posted on the finance ministry website this week, Ghana says oil-producer nations face three major questions:
a) How much to spend now, and how much to save?
b) How to use what is to be spent now?
c) How should the savings, if any, be managed?
Given the experience of near-neighbour Nigeria, whose oil riches have not only failed to haul its people out of poverty but helped spark political unrest, the questions are pertinent.
For Ghana, the stakes are high: oil from its Jubilee field could be the game-changer that weans it off foreign aid and ushers it into the club of lower-middle-income countries.
The old image of an Africa doomed to get ever poorer has certainly lost credence over the past decade even if it is a view still held by some.
Well, according to a new study, Africans are getting wealthier more quickly than previously believed and the poorest continent’s riches are also spreading beyond the narrow confines of its elite.