Posts Tagged ‘Takoradi’

Waiting for Kosmos…

Souvenir stand, Takoradi. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Waiting for Kosmos. I wait endlessly and (so far) in vain for a meeting with someone I do not know. Does this sound familiar? If and when we meet, I will likely learn nothing. But then I would be able to say that Mr. X of Kosmos Energy assures me that all matters have been amicably resolved, which would make my reporting appear somehow more objective.  A meaningless statement is better than no statement, or so goes the logic.

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Takoradi will always be home

Ghanaian business in Hong Kong. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Siddiq Fuseini grew up in Takoradi, went to school in Accra and for the past six years has been living in Hong Kong. “Takoradi will always be home,” he said, “and I’ll return. But not now.”

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From Takoradi to Hong Kong…

Hong Kong. Photo by Christiane Badgley

I’m in Hong Kong and China for two weeks doing research. My first day here and I’ve already met someone from Takoradi and chatted about Ghana’s oil.

Small world. More to follow…


New video online!

Sunset, Sekondi beachfront. Photo by Christiane Badgley

The Center for Public Integrity and the Pulitzer Center have posted the first of my short video dispatches on Ghana’s new oil industry:

There’s a dedicated “Oil City Stories” page at the Pulitzer Center and from there you can access articles and videos:

Please visit these pages and add comments, tweet, like, share, etc.!  Increased traffic and comments help me convince funders to continue supporting this work. New videos will be out soon and we’re working on a longer film project. It’s crucial to keep up the momentum!

Thanks for your interest and support.

The Oil City Band…Live from Takoradi

Oil City Band live in Takoradi. Photo by Christiane Badgley

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Deepwater Horizon: Can it happen again?

Takoradi harbor. Photo by Christiane Badgley

I interviewed the Ghanaian EPA’s “focal person for oil and gas” Friday afternoon in Takoradi.

I asked him about the Deepwater Horizon disaster and what Ghanaian authorities believe necessary to reduce the chances of a similar event occurring here. I wanted to hear about policy directives and stepped-up enforcement of existing laws, for example.  Instead, I heard that the Deepwater Horizon accident was “unique” and that something like it “could never happen in Ghana.”

Between the cheerful confidence of the EPA official and the “we’ve got safety under control” assurances of speakers at the Ghana summit, you could be forgiven for thinking that things have dramatically changed in the last year. Things have changed, but unfortunately it appears that too much remains the same.

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Oil City: Where are the Jobs, pt. 2

"Oil City," attracting dreamers and schemers... Photo by Christiane Badgley

“Oil City,” Ghana’s new Wild West. There may not be many oil industry jobs here for the moment, but the fortune seekers, schemers and scammers have arrived and there’s snake oil for sale on every corner.

Here’s part of one email I recently received (I’ve removed names and numbers):

I was offered a vacancy by an engineer whom does recruiting for jubilee oil rig (tel +233-xxx-xxx-xxx  Mr. xxxxx) he told me to obtain visa etc we had to pay in 490 us dollars via western union and that he would get back to me he now is asking for a further 1699 us dollars for some documentation levy payable to Ghana Maritime labour law it is for the certification of employment and travel documents under GMA prior before delivery as a new employee joining the Ghana jubilee oil field.

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Takoradi: The BBC and me…


Takoradi, "Oil City", Ghana. Photo by Christiane Badgley

Driving around Takoradi we noticed BBC banners up at busy intersections and roundabouts. “Oil: a blessing or a curse?” the banners asked. Funny, isn’t it, how we keep asking this question, when time after time oil production follows the same cue cards.

A new country gears up to join the petroleum producers’ club and the president along with a few top ministers loudly proclaim that this time, here, oil will be a blessing and not a curse. Promises are made, speeches are broadcast and then the oil ends up being a curse – at least for those at the bottom rungs of society, the people who desperately need jobs and pin all their hopes on the elusive black gold.

Oil isn’t a blessing, but it doesn’t need to be a curse, either. Seems like we need to move beyond this supernatural, good v. evil framework that really doesn’t move anything forward. Continue reading . . .

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