The discovery of oil in 2007 in Ghana came in a time when elections had shown the capacity to allow for alternation of two main political parties in government. The main objective of this article is to investigate the terms of the debates that have been developed in regard to the relation between natural resources and democracy in the country. Three main issues have been addressed: the capacity of democratic institutions to condition and configure the social and political effects of the oil industry in the country; the potential perverse effects of oil extraction on democratic institutions; and the role of international arena and actors in the constitution of the political economy of oil in Ghana.
In 2007, on the eve of the fifth multi-party elections in Ghana, the U.S. transnational company Kosmos Energy announced the discovery of oil deposits in the waters along the Western Region coast. A joint venture was formed between foreign private oil companies —namely Kosmos, the British Tullow Oil, and the American entities Anadarko Petroleum Co. and Sabre Oil and Gas— and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Only three years later, oil was extracted from the Jubilee Field and being commercialized in world markets; the accompanying gas would be dedicated to feeding the national electricity network through a processing plant in Atuabo
This is the paper: Campos Serrano, Alicia y Sánchez Díez, Ángeles (2022): “Oil in times of democracy: debates on extraction and politics in Ghana” Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, n.º 130 (abril de 2022), p. 165-191