Oil brings development to Africa
Jul 14, 2015
Bishop Hill in Climate: WG3, Energy: oil

The Economist describes how a major oil find in Northern Kenya has brought the possibility of development to an area that was once far from the benefits of civilisation. With oil prices low, it's all on hold for the moment, but even so, benefits have started to flow:

If and when it happens, Turkana will get its first paved roads, power stations and water treatment plants. Yet the knock-on effects of the oil boom are already evident and reach well beyond infrastructure. Drillers have found not just oil but reportedly also several large underground aquifers that could supply the bone-dry region with water for decades. Pastoralists might in future be able to grow crops. A man with a jerry-rigged distillery in a thatched hut near Tullow’s camp says: “We thought oil would bring us jobs and it’s done that—at least for some. But it’s so much more, both good and bad.”

And this:

The path to development will be bumpy, and elites will eat a disproportionate share of the rewards. Yet it is hard to find anyone in the county who would rather have been born in an earlier age.

Nevertheless, in the comments below the piece, you can find an environmentalist protesting.

If this is the future than we're all not going to have one.

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