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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrzej Polus & Dominik Kopinski & Wojciech Tycholiz, 2015. "Ready or Not: Namibia As a Potentially Successful Oil Producer," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 50(2), pages 31-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:50:y:2015:i:2:p:31-55

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunnschweiler, Christa N. & Bulte, Erwin H., 2008. "The resource curse revisited and revised: A tale of paradoxes and red herrings," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 248-264, May.
    2. Paul Collier & Benedikt Goderis, 2007. "Commodity Prices, Growth, and the Natural Resource Curse: Reconciling a Conundrum," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-15, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Ostry, Jonathan D., 2012. "Managing Capital Flows: What Tools to Use?," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 29(1), pages 83-89.
    4. Virginia Haufler, 2010. "Disclosure as Governance: The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Resource Management in the Developing World," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(3), pages 53-73, August.
    5. Marialuz Moreno Badia & Alex Segura-Ubiergo, 2014. "Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Emerging Markets; Can Fiscal Policy Help?," IMF Working Papers 14/1, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Stéphane Cossé, 2006. "Strengthening Transparency in the Oil Sector in Cameroon; Why Does it Matter?," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 06/02, International Monetary Fund.
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