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Oil Resource Management and its Utilization for Economic Transformation

Oil Resource Management and its Utilization for Economic Transformation

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This speech was delivered by former President of the Republic of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, at the Makerere University 90th anniversary celebrations held in Kampala, Uganda.

This speech was delivered by former President of the Republic of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, at the Makerere University 90th anniversary celebrations held in Kampala, Uganda.

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Published by: African Centre for Media Excellence on Aug 06, 2013
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11/05/2013

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Oil Resource Management and Its Utilization for Economic Transformation
 –
TheCase Study of GhanaA speech Delivered by His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, Former President of the Republic of Ghana at the Climax Celebrations of Makerere @ 90 atMakerere University in Kampala, Ugandaon2nd August, 2013
Rt. Honourable Amama Mbabazi, Prime Minister of the Republic of UgandaHonourable Ministers and Members of ParliamentProfessor Mondo Kagonyera, Chancellor of the UniversityEng Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, Chairperson of Council and your ColleagueMembers of CouncilVice Chancellor Professor Ddumba Ssentamu and Members of Staff Dr. Angelika Klein, Country Representative for Konrad-Adenauer-StiftungMr. Bruce Kabaasa, Chairperson of ConvocationDistinguished Invited GuestsLadies and Gentlemen,It is indeed a privilege to be called upon to deliver this lecture to climax youryear-long programmed activities celebrating Makerere @ 90. I take delight inbeing with you on this famed campus, an institution noted for scholarlyexcellence in East Africa.Indeed,
your university is one of Africa’s premier institutions of higher
learning, and h
as at times been referred to in Africa as “
the Oxford of theEast
. Makerere has produced so many post-independenceAfricanleaders, including formerUgandanpresidentsMilton Obote,Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa, and the lateTanzanianpresidentJulius Nyerere.FormerTanzanian presidentBenjamin Mkapa,the current president of the DRC,Joseph Kabila,  and recently-retiredKenyanpresidentMwai Kibakiare all also Makerere alumni.Indeed, you have had very turbulent and trying times with unfriendlygovernments, especially in the early decades of this
nation’s
independence.Your academic freedom was almost taken away from you, and many of thethen members, both students and faculty, paid for it dearly with their lives.
 
Page | 2
Remarkably, however, your institution always bounced back in-spite of themany tribulations and vicissitudes that it suffered. Makerere is thereforeworthy of great praise and continued high expectations from your nation andits many well-wishers and friends from around the world. You deservecongratulations for chalking 90 years, and ought to be proud of your esteemedalma mater.It is my pleasure to celebrate your 90
th
birthday with you.Mr. Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been asked to deliver an
address on “Oil Resource Management
and Its Utilization for EconomicTransformation
 –
 
The Case Study of Ghana”.
 
I don’t claim to be an expert on
this topic. However, the oil and gas find in Ghana in commercial quantities,that occurred in 2007 was under my watch as the president of the nation.As euphoric as my government and I were with the find, we were notprivileged to be in office at the first pumping of oil three years later inDecember, 2010. So, Ladies and Gentlemen, you see that the industry is veryyoung in my country, and there should be caution in proffering it as a casestudy. Suffice it to say that because my government was already aware of thepotentials and pitfalls of oil resource management in other countries, itimmediately took steps to seek best practices to inform policy, and fashion outregulatory framework for it. This was to avert it becoming a curse to thenation. So I hope this address will be useful enough to assist our sister nation,Uganda, make headway with the search for sustainable ways to make the oilfind here a blessing.At this stage, I have to acknowledge that Uganda preceded Ghana in her oilfind, but complexities in the industry have delayed the exploitation of your oilresources. Here, permit me to wish you Godspeed in the search.Coincidentally, Mr. Prime Minister, the major operator of the current oil fieldsof both Ghana and Uganda is the British-Irish company, Tullow Oil.Ladies and Gentlemen, interestingly, Ghana has so many other areas incommon with Uganda. To begin with, the two countries were both styled as
 
Page | 3
 jewel
s” in the British colonial establishment; the Gold Coast, now Ghana, in
West Africa and Uganda in East Africa. They were both naturally well-endowedeconomically with good forests, farm lands, water bodies and excellent humanresource at the time of independence. They also have great cultural heritagesof traditional governance including time-tested kingdoms. At independenceour populations were fairly-well manageable, not too large and not too small.Indeed, given the administrative systems and healthy states of the economieswhich were bequeathed to them at independence, these two countriesseemed the likeliest to succeed with self-government in their respectiveregions.Alas, Mr. Prime Minister, our two countries have not performed toexpectation. In the latest 2013 world rankings of countries by the HumanDevelopment Index of UNDP, most of us Sub-Saharan African countries areranked at the bottom. Ghana is ranked 135th out of 186 countries assessed,and Uganda is at 161.A little probe will show that poor governance has been the bane of development of not only our two countries, but also of almost all the otherSub-Saharan African countries.Historically, most African states lurched into a gap of almost three decadeswithout constitutions. This period has been marked as the era of so-called
“strong men”
who ruled without transparency and accountability to thepeople on whom they imposed themselves.Mr. Prime Minister, this by and large, is the source of the woes and slowprogress that have afflicted our continent. Now Africa has come to a criticalpoint where democracy and good governance have been recognized acrossthe board as the principles to be pursued to achieve rounded developmentand transformation of our nations. The African Union says so and all theRegional Groupings subscribe to them; hence the resort to constitutionality forlegitimacy by our various countries currently.Good governance should be all- embracing of the citizenry, regardless of tribe,religion, gender, or minority status. It would respect the rule of law, equalitybefore the law, and individual human rights. Private initiative and property

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