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The impact of oil exploitation on a Ghanaian fishing community

Attah, Amewu 2018. The impact of oil exploitation on a Ghanaian fishing community. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The likelihood that natural resource extraction will deliver benefits to inhabitants of local communities which host the extraction venture has become a salient point in the sub-Saharan African context. It is because although the continent has seen an upsurge in resource extraction activities, the continent still features prominently in the “resource curse” debate. The “resource curse” is a phenomenon where countries which have abundant natural resources such as oil and gas, perform badly in economic development and governance compared to countries with fewer resources (Humphreys et al., 2007). Although the “resource curse” is a global occurrence it is particularly prevalent in resource-rich countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the prevalence of the resource curse in Africa, international financial institutions, national governments, leaders and inhabitants of the region continue to see the extraction of natural resource as a route out of poverty, especially for local communities which host extraction activities. This thesis focuses on the case of Ghana, a new addition to the bloc of oil-producing countries to assess whether expectations of resource benefits by inhabitants of the oil region will materialise. I used a qualitative approach, so I conducted semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in Ghana’s oil and gas industry. The exploration of the social, economic and environmental impact of oil drilling and exploitation on the study community revealed that contrary to expectations of benefits, no beneficial outcomes accrued to inhabitants of the community. There were instead reports of challenges with fishing activities such as decreased fish catch levels, longer time spent at sea and the presence of seaweed which affected fishing activities negatively. The main conclusion of this thesis is that resource-rich communities who do not have the “power” cannot compel governments of developing countries to institute resource intervention projects for them. This thesis, therefore, recommends that communities must capitalise on elections which gives them “power” over governments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: NIPPON, SIRC Foundation Grant
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 June 2018
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2021 08:53

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