Righting resources-curse wrongs in Uganda: the case of oil discovery and the management of popular expectations
MetadataShow full item record
Following Uganda’s discovery of oil deposits in 2006, the country’s development prospects look higher than ever before. Different stakeholders (discussed in the paper) have high development expectations. However, development experiences from oil-rich countries in Africa raise concerns that Uganda could suffer oil curse - a situation in which extraction of oil increases poverty and misery to majority of the people instead of leading to improvement in livelihoods for all. The paper discusses management of popular expectations in Uganda that are associated with discovery of oil, with a view to assisting the country to avoid the dreaded oil curse. The oil curse is not because of the oil but due to economic and political mismanagement. Oil abundance typically generates valuable rents that tend to trigger violent forms of rent-seeking or “greed-based” insurgencies. Lack of transparency and accountability in Uganda’s oil sector are early signs of an oil curse. Uganda can avoid the oil curse by managing popular expectations better and by ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of the oil sector.