/Namibia: Ready or not for oil?

Namibia: Ready or not for oil?

The main purpose of the research is to answer the question if Namibia as a second generation petro-state can avoid oil resource curse phenomenon. Research hypothesis states that African countries where oil has been discovered in recent years operate in different international arena and with dissimilar domestic factors compared to countries that after decolonisation were based on monoculture economy. Consequently, the discovery of oil resources in certain countries of Sub-Saharan Africa does not entail occurrence of oil resource curse phenomenon.

Project’s findings were published in Africa Spectrum (details below):

Polus, Andrzej,  Dominik Kopinski, and Wojciech Tycholiz. 2015. “Ready or Not: Namibia As a Potentially Successful Oil Producer.” Africa Spectrum 50(2)


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.