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This presentation will shine a spotlight on petroleum governance in Ghana. It will depart from the typical natural resource curse discourse in Africa and focus instead on drivers of governance frameworks in Ghana with an emphasis on the petroleum sector.

Ghana’s history of petroleum governance can be categorised into three phases, each of which has been influenced by institutional design complexities driven by contentious politics and political settlements. Drawing on the findings of an extensive research that utilised an originally anthropological concept of liminality (transitions), the presentation will analyse the political behaviour and institutional arrangements inherent in each of the phases of Ghana’s petroleum governance.

The central argument is that contentious politics and political settlements have superseded any predictable and clearly stated objectives in all phases of petroleum governance. This is despite enhanced checks and balances that civil society introduced after the 2007 petroleum discovery. Forward-looking recommendations will be provided-order issues such as the social tools that must be harnessed to sustainably manage the scarce resource.

About the speakers

  • Speaker: Clement Sefa-Nyarko, History Department, La Trobe University, and ALC Alumnus
  • Discussant: Kafui Tsekpo, Research Associate, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, PhD candidate with the South African Research Chair in Social Policy and the Department of Sociology, University of South Africa, and ALC Alumnus
  • Chair: Dr Eka Ikpe, Director ALC, King’s College London

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Director, African Leadership Centre

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