Mar 11, 2006
To whom does Ethiopia’s Gambella oil belong
Your question seems to have its answer in it because you talk about the Gambella oil. I might have a very controversial view about the issue but for me the question is rather who should benefit most of it. Not who it belongs because people here will hold a very legalist talk in which we might not understand a thing. In any case it is not always those it belongs to that get the benefit. The primary beneficiary should be the people that are going to be affected by the work being done. I am talking about those who might lose their land or their livelihood. I don’t buy into this bullshit of compensating people once for their land and then forget them. The benefits should be in terms of constructing schools, hospitals, universities and the likes for them and subsidizing their studies, health coverage etc through a fund managed by the local community. The funds will come through some kind of shareholding scheme with the company which is doing the prospecting. If this particular area is developed it is a plus for the Gambella regional state as it will be to the rest of the country. I feel the same for any other resource that can be developed including the national parks and the likes.