It is all over the news, OIL FOUND IN GHANA! The “black gold” was found just off shore Ghana by UK-based firm Tullow Oil and according to the bbc the finding is one of Africa’s biggest with 600m barrels (which tells me nothing, but news papers also state it is “of commercial value” so it is quite a lot, I guess). Even though it will take years before the oil can be accessed, everybody is discussing the news, many with the critical question “will this commodity really come to benefit the Ghanaian people?” However, the Ghanaian politicians are already celebrating. President Kufuor has stated:
“My joy is that I’ll go down in history as the president under whose watch oil was found to turn the economy of Ghana around for the better”
The politicians sure need some good news. Yesterday, I went to the donor partners Consultative Group meeting in Accra where development partners come together with the Ghanaian government discussing how the aid available can give best value for money. President Kufuor came to the meeting for the closing ceremony. We all rose to the occasion, a respectful silence spread, and the president marched into the conference room with his entourage. He stopped at the podium and Ghana’s national anthem came on. About half way into the anthem, all lights went off, the AC stopped, the anthem was interrupted and we were all, president and ministers included, standing in the dark. It was a not so subtle reminder of the energy crisis here in Ghana.