I appreciate your concern. I realize that an MA in African Studies by itself is not enough. Actually I always intended on either going to law school or getting a PhD. I'm just trying to discern which of the two would be a better fit for me.
Hi! Thanks for your note. My work in Sierra Leone was around petroleum and governance of the sector. I did some training/capacity building with MPs and some members of the Cabinet. Good stuff! What are you studying?
Thank you for your note, Finoh. In fact, I plan on doing something very similar to what you suggest in your comment. I will certainly be using political economy analysis as a primary tool in my work. Further, I am considering a few case studies (Nigeria included) that I think will provide a nice diverse selection. I look forward to sharing updates as the research design progresses.
Sorry for getting back to you only now but I have been away from GOXI for a while. Project financing in Africa's PPPs is a world of issues. Please send me an e-mail with your questions and maybe we can start a good conversation.
You are right Ahmed because until Ghana discovered oil previous government has concentrated on other sectors of the country especially agriculture but now most of the attention has been shifted to the oil but we have agriculture creating jobs for 60% of the population. Our leaders aught to look at some of this things cos now most graduate from the universities are all looking forward to working in the oil industry leaving the field for which they where trained in.
Also we need to invest in our own centres of learning. Norway, the UK, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minreals, France, the USA many major producing or consuming countries have excellent world class universities researching, teaching and learning abt natural resources. African countries should attempt to get quality schools teaching this kind of thing as well. in order to benefit from natural resources we need power over them. and knoweldge is power. so we should invest in knoweldge. (please forgive my previous post. it was full of typos. I only hope it was coherent)
Africans in a sense are building capacity. some have suggested interesting ways of handling this "local content" issue. one writer has suggested a data bank of African oil professionals in their home countries. this pool of people known and identified can then be trained properly and used efficiently both in public and private sectors. many of the graduates return to the work force and got lost in other ventures..so one particular writer suggests a data bank. lets know the people who know something. NOCs(National Oil Companies) like CNOOC(from China) and Saudi Armaco (Saudi Arabia) are known to attend job fairs at the biggest universities to seek out and offer internships to their students and the opportunity for employment. African NOCs need to join the club of talent searchers. then a proper human development policy, sharing of personnel and technology among states. then the focus also shdnt just be on the geological aspects but on training economists, lawyers and managers 4 proper policy etc. there was good article by the scholary Bede Nwete on this some time back.
To Elison's point, I too believe that building our own capacity is essential for reasons already mentioned as well as the potential spillover. I question the social and economic sustainability of the model of simply using the rent to pacify the people without their deep engagement in the industry.
That said, how do we build the skills? The more relevant question, in my view, is how do we keep the skills we buid in the public sector from going to the private sector for better pay? Any ideas? (Frankly, it's hard to blame people who make the switch)
Ahmed thank you for your response. Again I concur. Except that I do believe a form of technology transfer and "local content" is also essential (its certainly part of the leadership issue)..many of the oil sheikhdoms for example have the bulk of their oil in the hands of national oil companies. if the entire energy chain has Africans playing a minimal role as investors, employees, marketeers etc of the crude then we are likely to see a complete repartiation of profits and capital flight. yet the need for the funds to be reinvested (or consumed) in Africa can not be overstated. but i concede that this is a micro point. the real macro point is the one u so rightly raise. the need for clear headed leadership. but as Africans we should seek knoweldge bse knoweldge is power.
absolutley brilliant response! i agree entirely with u. the question then is how does Africa make herself ready? Africans should players in the entire energy chain..in the case of oil from bid preparation, negotiation of contraccts, exploration, oil field development and the marketing of crude. all these require expertise, long term investments and high technical and managerial ability. what can be done by policy makers to ensure that Africans obtain the necessarry skills and thus are able to use the industry to transform their societies?
Ahmed thank you very much for your welcoming message. stabilisation clauses have been the subject of much discussion and much criticism. I think though it is fair to say that the traditional freezing stabilisation clause is out of vogue. firstly in most instances it is unconstitutional. a clause that purpots to stop parliament from making law is a clause of dubious constitutionality at best. but the stabilization clause is also an historic character. from the days of the concession agreements it is seen as a means of attracting investment in a country especially one that is considered a "political risk". the industry is characterised by heavy investments and long lead times. and also the need for investment in the African oil industry cannot be overstated. (at times its actually understated) the 194 nations of the world can be grouped in 4 equal quadrants. the OECD (the richest countries); the poorest countries (bulk of subsaharan africa), emerging markets (mainly Brazil and India) and then Russia, China and their satellite states. according to Paul Collier if u divide the value of subsoil assests thus far discovered and compare just the bottom billion and the top billion the result is astonishing. he claims the value of subsoil assets per square km of land in the OECD(the richest quadrant) is $114,000 per average sqaure km. in africa the average sq. km. has subsoil assets of $23,000. meaning according this study Africa is actually not well endowed contrary to public opinion. and yet this picture is of discovered assets. prospecting is quite expensive. africa thus has the potential to have as much sub soil assets as the OECD but they remain undiscovered because the continet has largely failed to attract the necessarry investment in discovery and prospecting. africa has the potential to have 5 times its present discoveries just to have as much as the OECD. the stabilization clause was therefore an agent of seduction.
Many thanks Finoh for your concern about does any one out there get passionate? Yes there are groups and individuals actually who even need to be rewarded for their contributions. AUC has come in place to address these concerns of course with your support. Although we have many challanges ahead main ones are African Politics that have been baseline of what you mentioned above. As we come to address these we need to agree on the action and practical approaches. I am very glad to respond to you and to add a voice on this space
The Denver climate is normally amazing and it certainly was pleasant last winter. I'm not there right now though as I'm spending the summer in Washington D.C.
I'm not that familiar with the MIPER program as I'm doing a PhD in Mineral and Energy Economics. Having said that, I would guess that you could complete the program within 1.5yrs without receiving any transfer credit. Are you interested in registering for the program?
Thanks for the reply. I am at the College of Engineering(materials engineering dep't) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.The programme i am pursuing is Msc.Environmental Resources Management. it is modular and so we are put through a series of courses relating in general to resource management,so there is no an out and out major like the other programmes.So we will graduate as environmental resource managers,that is if i can say that.
I want to look at the public sector,that is, the institutions tasked with mining environment governance vis a vis the four itemised governance functions i wrote earlier.
About enquiring from the ministries and mining companies about potential issues they would like research to be conducted into,i have contacted a few but have received no response whatsoever,i will continue to contact them though.
Thanks and God keep you too Ahmed.I hope you don't mind me calling you Ahmed,maybe Eng.Ahmed will do. God Bless!!!
Thank you for your concern. It is never the interest of anyone to recite the problems in Africa to glaring focus of the world. These problems are not a mirage. They exist.
In telling what pertains in the continent, one should not be regarded a prophet of doom. May be you are in the West, so you think all is well. No!. With our leadership deficiency, one ought to find solutions. Find time and read my articles, I propose solutions for the benefit of all.
But my argument is that Ghana rushed into its oil production. With a record-breaking field development of 3 YEARS, there is the indication that most arrangements were rushed. I have articles written last year to the effect that Ghana is not well ready for oil take off.
The problems in Africa are myriad and unless we accept that fact we are not going to make progress.
Nevertheless, the country has started oil production and these are teething challenges. Our hope is to make amends and set the record straight.