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.
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