New Oil—and a Huge Challenge—for Ghana
The massive Jubilee field begins producing oil this week, but with revenue from the site come concerns about the risk of corruption and environmental compromise.
(Related: National Geographic Guide to Ghana)
Some even worry that greed could transform Ghana into a smaller-scale Nigeria, a nearby oil-rich country plagued by corruption, ethnic violence, and frequent spills—often tied to vandalism.
(Related: "Curse of the Black Gold")
Oil also has played a role in civil strife in other African countries rich in the resource, such as Angola, the Republic of Congo, and Sudan.
"We say we don't want to be like Nigeria," said Emmanuel Kuyole, Africa regional coordinator for Revenue Watch Institute, a nonprofit that promotes transparency of government expenditures. But Kuyole, who is based in Ghana, said the country must go beyond the rhetoric.
Kuyole and other civil society groups were dismayed that key legislation to manage the allocation