The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the phenomena known as the ‘oil curse’ is not pre-ordained. This is the case where majority of citizens in oil countries live in poverty due to mismanagement of oil revenues.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka was answering questions from journalists on Ghana’s oil and the country’s development future at the Bank’s headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia Wednesday May 3, 2012.
He said oil producing African countries can make the right choices and avoid the curse.
“Ghana was doing well and became a middle-income country without the oil, and can avoid the mistakes, because these mistakes are known,” he said.
He also said the country can choose to use the oil revenue to create a window of opportunity for its people or could choose to build what he describes as ‘white elephants’, and “increase the salaries of workers.”
He indicated that the Bank is in touch with the Ghana government and with other oil countries, as they try to assist the government to make the right decisions with the oil revenues.
Ghana found oil in commercial quantities in 2007 and commercial production began in December 2010.