Divergent Policies, Divergent Trajectories? The Impact of Established Political Systems on Oil and Gas Institutions in Ghana and Uganda

Itago Winnie : Environmental Economics & Policy major, Global Poverty & Practice minor

Mentor: Michael Watts, Geography and Robin Marsh, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

Historically, oil exploration in Africa has brought the “resource curse”: countries with more abundant natural resources have poorer development outcomes, due to corruption and environmental degradation. Itago will compare new oil producers Ghana and Uganda—which share many similarities despite Uganda’s semi-authoritiarianism and Ghana’s greater democracy and transparency — to understand this phenomenon. To evaluate the effect of petro-policies and public participation on environmental and socio-economic outcomes in the two nations, Itago will gather data on government policies, revenue collection, and allocations in the Ghanaian and Ugandan capitals, followed by interviews with oil-watch NGOs, youth, farmers, fishermen and other community members in the nations’ oil-producing regions. She hopes her research will shed light on the impact of petro-policies and public participation in developing economies.