How the Oil Industry Could Reduce Poverty in Senegal
Senegal is a rapidly developing nation in West Africa. Like many developing nations, it is gaining access to lots of new technologies but still lacks many key tools for effective education among other issues.
More specifically, many schools in Senegal do not have electricity. While many technologies exist to foster education that can help to raise people out of poverty, few of these technologies can be used without a stable power source. However, the oil industry is emerging in strength and may be able to help end poverty in Senegal.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Senegal’s economy has been stable and growing at a rate of 6 percent. This is in part due to the development of the country’s oil industry. Oil is one of the world’s most demanded commodities. Despite this fact, the oil resources of Senegal and West Africa are mostly untapped.
Yet, interest in the region is increasing. The Scottish-based company Cairn Energy has stated they plan to spend nearly $70 million exploring projects to drill in Senegal; Australia’s FAR Ltd is considering setting up commercial operations in a basin off of the coast. This basin is speculated to contain at least 200 million barrels worth of oil.
The managing director of FAR’s development plan said that the expansion plan will yield “a world class oil field that can support a commercial development.” FAR has also noted that the costs of operating offshore have decreased by more than 20 percent since 2014. Because poverty in Senegal affects so many citizens, the government must take advantage of its emerging position as a major oil producer for the region.
Senegal’s economy is based largely on the agricultural sector. In addition to the lack of educational technology, poverty in Senegal often stems from agricultural workers who face the threats of drought and climate change.
However, the country benefits from peaceful leadership and one of the most stable democracies on the continent. With this in mind, the burgeoning oil industry may be able to help end poverty in Senegal.
– Nathaniel Siegel