The Contribution of Civil Society in Avoiding Natural Resource Curse in Ghana: The Case of Oil

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University of Ghana


Ghana is a country endowed with rich mineral resources. However, for many years, Ghana has not been able to translate the mineral resources into broad economic wealth for the people. Therefore, when Ghana discovered oil in 2007, many people did not believe that Ghana would use its oil resources to create wealth for the people. The general fears were that Ghana could fall into the oil curse situation. The study investigated the contribution of Civil Society in avoiding oil curse in Ghana. Based on empirical analysis of relevant data, the study found that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have helped Ghana from falling in the resource curse; CSOs have facilitated legislative enactments that guaranteed transparency and accountability in the management of Ghana’s oil sector. It did this by instigating the passage of the PRMA 815, which established the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Heritage Fund in the (PRMA 815), amongst others. CSOs have carried advocacy on the negative effects of oil and gas on the environment and social lives of the people in the coastal communities. Despite these, CSOs are confronted with some challenges such as, difficulties in access to information, inadequate capacity building, limited extent of outreach, stigmatization and diminishing funds. Only through the passage of the right to information bill would allow CSO to gain easy access to useful information to enhance their monitoring of the management of the oil resources, government must be committed to transparency and accountability, civil society ought to address the challenges facing them dispassionately and finally, Ghana should design a development strategy for the oil revenues and use them for economic, social and infrastructural development of the country. All, these can strengthen CSO capacity to promote the effective management of Ghana’s oil resources and thus escape the oil curse.


Thesis (MPhil)-University of Ghana, 2013


Resource Curse, Oil and Gas in Ghana, Civil Society Organization