Ready or Not: Namibia As a Potentially Successful Oil Producer

Andrzej Polus, Dominik Kopinski, Wojciech Tycholiz


The primary objective of this paper is to assess whether Namibia is ready to become an oil producer. The geological estimates suggest that the country may possess the equivalent of as many as 11 billion barrels of crude oil. If the numbers are correct, Namibia would be sitting on the second-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa, and exploitation could start as soon as 2017. This clearly raises the question of whether Namibia is next in line to become a victim of the notorious “resource curse.” On the basis of critical discourse analysis and findings from field research, the authors have selected six dimensions of the resource curse and contextualised them within the spheres of Namibian politics and economy. While Namibia still faces a number of important challenges, our findings offer little evidence that the oil will have particularly disruptive effects.

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