President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked Guyana to come together to be able to benefit from the recently discovered substantial hydrocarbon resources for the benefits of the citizenry.
He said the two nations ought to carefully balance social, economic and environmental benefits of these vast oil and gas wealth in a continuously changing world.
Delivering his keynote address at the maiden International Energy Conference and Expo in Georgetown, Guyana, the President emphasised the utmost necessity for countries like Guyana and Ghana to find ways of bringing their substantial hydrocarbon resources to production.
“We must add value to these resources, and not export them in their raw form if we are to transition to the status of developed countries. The effective management of these resources will determine whether we make it or not,” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo pointed out that no energy project, no matter how high its return on value, is worth it if the interests of some or majority of the stakeholders are not properly represented, and they are left impoverished and dissatisfied.
He told the gathering that the discovery of oil resources in Ghana, in 2007, offered a unique, historic opportunity for the country to leverage its new found oil and gas resources for the development, and to finance priority domestic investments crucial for diversified growth.
“By the Grace of God, many more discoveries have since followed, and Ghana’s ability to use these resources for the development of the economy, and for enhancing the welfare of citizens remains robust,” he said.
According to him, some resource endowed nations in Africa are failing to achieve sustainable development from the exploitation of their natural resources.
The President said Ghana had implemented a number of policies and initiatives to change the narrative.
These policies, he explained, are focused on ensuring sustainable growth of the sector through legislative development, employment creation, protection of the environment, revenue and cost management, transparency, diversification of the economy, capacity building, and local content development.
“We resolved, soon after our oil discovery, to improve the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for the efficient management of our oil and gas industry. To demonstrate further our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability, Ghana set up a Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to deal with challenges relating to transparency and accountability, with respect to the use of petroleum revenues,” he said.