Ghana and Guyana must quickly bring oil resources into production for citizens

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

“It is therefore of the utmost necessity that countries like Guyana and Ghana find the means to bring their significant hydrocarbon resources into production, and quickly too. We must develop these resources and not export them in their raw state if we want to progress to the status of developed countries. Effective management of these resources will determine whether or not we succeed.

These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered a keynote address at the first International Energy Conference and Exhibition in Georgetown, Guyana on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

While bringing these fields into production as quickly as possible, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghana and Guyana to carefully balance the social, economic and environmental benefits of these hydrocarbon resources in an ever-changing world.

“No energy project, regardless of its return on value, is therefore worthwhile if the interests of some or the majority of stakeholders are not properly represented, and they remain impoverished and dissatisfied,” he said. he adds.

Delivering his speech, President Akufo-Addo told the conference, which was attended by the President of Guyana, the President of Suriname, the Prime Minister of Barbados and the CEO of Exxonmobil, among others, that Ghana is , today presented as a model case in Africa in the management of oil and gas resources.

According to the President, the discovery of petroleum resources in Ghana, in 2007, provided a unique and historic opportunity for the country to leverage its new oil and gas resources for the development of the Ghanaian economy and to finance crucial national priority investments. for diversified growth. .

“By the grace of God, many other discoveries have since followed, and Ghana’s ability to use these resources for the development of the economy and to improve the welfare of the citizens remains strong,” he said. .

While some resource-endowed African nations are failing to achieve sustainable development from the exploitation of their natural resources, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana has implemented a number of policies and initiatives. to change the narrative.

These policies, he explained, aim to ensure sustainable growth of the sector through legislative development, job creation, environmental protection, revenue and cost management, transparency, diversification of economy, capacity building and local content development.

“We decided, shortly after our discovery of oil, to improve the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the effective management of our oil and gas industry. To further demonstrate our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability, Ghana has established a Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to address challenges related to transparency and accountability, with respect to the use of oil revenues,” he said.

The President continued, “Ghana has also joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in relation to oil and gas, which requires that we publish revenues from petroleum resources and agree to use these resources efficiently for the benefit of the population. ”

He told the gathering that a major challenge Ghana has faced is how to develop the oil and gas industry with optimal local content and participation, enhance national development and create jobs.

To this end, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana has decided that the involvement of Ghanaians, in the exploitation of oil and gas resources, could be achieved through mandatory local content in all aspects of petroleum activities, hence the adoption of a Local Content and Participation Policy in 2010.

“We have been relatively successful in creating qualified and internationally competitive domestic suppliers through this law. It is important to note that Ghana’s Local Content Act is not about nationalization of the oil sector or a protectionist initiative, but a means for partner investors to develop national capacity that will bring mutual benefits to investors and citizens of the country. countries, which possess the resources and, thus, ensure social harmony and cohesion,” he said.

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