On Tuesday 24th October 2017, The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) hosted a luncheon in honour of H.E Gunnar Andreas Holm, The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana. He was accompanied by Oyvind Johansen, the Deputy Head of Mission.
Also in attendance were other distinguished members of Ghanaian society, policy makers and business leaders namely;
Dr. Charles Mensa, Board Chairman of the IEA welcomed all guests to the Institute. He made known to all that the purpose of the luncheon was to provide H.E Holm with an overview of Ghana’s oil and gas discovery, to analyse the performance of the sector 10 years on and also to present an independent platform for discussion.
Prof. Asafu-Adjaye, a senior fellow at the Institute led the guests in discussion on the Macroeconomic impacts of Ghana’s oil discovery. He engaged guests on the ongoing national dialogue on whether Ghanaians were benefitting from the revenue being generated from the oil production.
This provoked some discussion and the general view expressed was that Ghana should review and renegotiate some contracts to be able to fully exploit the benefits of Ghana’s oil resources.
A key question that was asked was if Ghana could learn any lessons from Norway in the management of its petroleum resources. Norway discovered its oil reserves in the 1960’s and has increasingly developed technologies to harness this resource in order to reduce the negative socio-economic and environmental impacts. It was suggested that Ghana should look at models used by other countries in harnessing their oil resources. For example, the Norwegian model.
At the end of the deliberations, guests reached the consensus that, the review of all oil contracts to reflect current economic situations is important and Ghana needs to improve its transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector as well as work towards passing the Right to Information bill.
In his remarks, H.E Holm mentioned that Ghana and the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs agreed to extend the “Oil for Development Programme” for another 5 years in 2015 and the aim of the programme is to target poverty reduction through the responsible management of petroleum resources in Ghana.