TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The African country of Ghana joined a very exclusive club today. The country began pumping oil of its coast — an oil field the country hopes will bring in $1 billion per year.
The BBC’s David Amanor is with us from a ceremony in Cape Three Points to mark the occasion. Hi David.
DAVID AMANOR: Hello, hi.
SOUND OF CELEBRATION
CHIOTAKIS: Sounds pretty lively there. How are people celebrating?
AMANOR: Actually, what we’re hearing here is a color make-shift amphitheater and there’s a giant screen here where we’ve been watching pictures of President Atta Mills aboard the floating production and storage unit where he’s been turning the tops off of Ghana’s first auto-flow. So the music you’re hearing the background is the Ghana’s national dance ensemble who have been singing and dancing in all the traditional styles.
CHIOTAKIS: Let’s change gears a bit David and talk about how important this could be for the economy. What are the people of Ghana saying about that?
AMANOR: I think people here out on the streets have sort of tempered their expectations but they do expect it to be a blessing. They do expect their lives to improve. So perhaps the expectations might be a little high because really I mean we’re looking at a boost to he economy between $500 million to $1 billion U.S. dollars. I mean, you’re talking about a 1.85 – 3.7 percent increase in the economy. And in the scheme of things, that’s not really a lot.
CHIOTAKIS: Ghana, David is known as one of the most stable countries in Africa. Is it concerned about how things could perhaps go sour with this oil exploration?
AMANOR: There are concerns in a way that things could go sour in a slow kind of way. There are fears that oil could feed corruption maybe in the same ways that it has in Nigeria, Angola, and Equatorial Guinea in a widening gap between rich and poor. You know there are several negatives to watch out for in the oil experience.
CHIOTAKIS: The BBC’s David Amanor currently at this ceremony to mark the occasion in Ghana of oil exploration there. David, thanks.
AMANOR: You’re welcome, thank you.
News and information you need, from a source you trust.
In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.
This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.