Oil, energy poverty and resource dependence in West Africa

Bazilian, Morgan, Onyeji, Ijeoma, Aqrawi, Peri-Khan, Sovacool, Benjamin K, Ofori, Emmanuel and Kammen, Thijs (2013) Oil, energy poverty and resource dependence in West Africa. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, 31 (1). pp. 33-53. ISSN 0264-6811

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The new rush to discover and exploit hydrocarbon resources in West Africa, and particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, has raised hopes in the affected countries for new petroleum wealth and economic development. This article therefore assesses the macroeconomic and governance implications of the recent oil and gas rush in West Africa. Clearly, sound management of the resource revenues will be crucial in national efforts to tackle poverty and promote socio-economic development. While there is a large body of literature available on the issues and best practices related to oil and gas resource management and the design of associated institutions and financial mechanisms, the article fills two gaps. First, while Nigeria and Angola have received ample attention, this article focuses on some smaller countries in the Gulf of Guinea that have only recently emerged as oil and gas producers, such as Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone. Secondly, it highlights implications for two major socio-economic characteristics of these emerging resource-rich states: (1) energy poverty; and (2) agricultural dependence and lock-in on single crops. The early evolution of institutions to manage the newfound revenues is found to be critical to long-term prosperity or instability. A legacy of beneficial or problematic social impact of new resources hinges on the success in using the new petroleum resources to establish an ‘enabling environment’ where resource wealth is seen across society as a means to build stable institutions, reduce social and economic inequality and drive national prosperity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 10:57
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 16:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58350
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