A Nationwide Survey on the Expectations and Participation of the Youth in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry
According to the Ghanaian census 2010, 33.2 percent of the population is between 15 and 35 years of age. It must be assumed that this percentage has increased in the last 10 years, but the results of the census 2010 have not been published yet.
Since the oil find in the year 2010, the expectations of the population was high. FES Ghana and the Youth Network for Human Rights and Democracy have been interested in the opinion of the youth regarding issues on oil and gas, because they are the future generation which have to deal with possible consequences and challenges in the next decades. Moreover, due to the fact that those young people represent a large number of the overall population, it is necessary that their voice will be heard. The most significant results from our study are summarized as follows:
The expectation of the youth with regards to the oil and gas exploration is generally very high. 81 percent have ‘very high’ or ‘high’ expectations.
Oil wealth is seen as an opportunity to develop a country and to achieve higher living standards. Expectations in all the ten administrative regions are very high hence a socially just distribution of the oil resources must be envisaged to avoid social unrest and further disparities between the north and south, poor and rich.
The respondents have stated that the most likely consequences of the oil production are: economic growth, more jobs, better infrastructure and improved living standards.
If the youth would have the opportunity to spend the oil money, they would assign the money to the following areas/sectors in the order of importance: education and training, health care, infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, communication etc.), improving agricultural practices, savings and investment for future generations.
Despite the positive assessment of the sufficient instruments and transparent mechanisms, a high percentage of the youth of Ghana does not trust politicians who will manage the oil wealth.
The youth have a high interest and willingness to participate in decision-making processes and the discussions concerning the oil production as well as the management of the oil wealth.