Ghana’s forth-coming presidential election on will be the country’s first since a much heralded start of oil production in 2010 and the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that came with it.
Voters are wondering how Ghana’s much-hyped national resource will improve their lives, while experts warn that politicians are making inflated promises about how oil can change the country. Among the candidates, President John Dramani Mahama and main opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo have made various pledges regarding oil revenue.
Ghana’s oil sector clearly holds tremendous promise for a country that is already a major exporter of gold and cocoa. Analysts also say there are several reasons why Ghana deserves to be applauded, including its transparent system of monitoring oil revenue. But production, currently at around 80,000 barrels per day, has so far fallen far short of predictions and locals who had hoped to find work in the sector have often been disappointed.
When production began at the offshore Jubilee field in December 2010, it was expected to generate up to $1.0 billion in government revenue per year, but ended up yielding just $444 million in 2011.