The Governments of Guyana and Ghana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster enhanced and strengthened cooperation in the two nation’s petroleum sector.
The agreement was signed on during the week between the Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat and Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thomas Mbomba as part of the Ghanaian Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s official three-day visit.
Speaking with the Department of Information (DPI) on the sidelines of the event, Minister Bharrat shared that the newly-signed agreement will work on building out Guyana’s framework and architecture for managing the new and lucrative oil sector.
“They would have developed their framework for their management of the sector quite nicely. Ghana has the experience and they certainly have the capability to… I think there is a lot that we can learn from Ghana,” the minister pointed out, as he recalled that the West African country discovered oil in 2007 and like Guyana, it began producing 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
Since it commenced producing oil, Ghana has so far established a Petroleum Commission, a Local Content Secretariat and its National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to ensure the prudent, transparent and accountable management of its oil and gas sector.
“The MoU speaks to collaboration, cooperation, sharing of information, capacity building, monetisation of gas because they have a national oil company and we are now looking to develop our gas utilisation master plan,” the minister explained.
He continued, “The focus has always been on oil, but there is a lot that we can earn from gas too apart from the gas-to-energy project to reduce electricity costs.”
Minister Bharrat also addressed concerns that Ghana may not be the best country for Guyana to partner with in the oil and gas industry. He said persons should redirect their attention to what the government is doing to bridge the gap.
“We just need to focus on what we are doing and what we want to achieve to bring benefits to our people, and if we see Ghana as a partner and ways in which we can benefit from them, then we are going to pursue the collaboration and cooperation,” the Natural Resources Minister highlighted.
Guyana and Ghana officially established diplomatic relations on May 14, 1979. Guyana’s independence movement was greatly influenced by Pan-Africanist and the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. During the celebration of Ghana’s independence in March 1957, Guyana’s political leaders, Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham travelled to Ghana to attend the festivities. Throughout their years of leadership, both Presidents Jagan and Burnham maintained good relations with Ghana.
Guyana has long shared common interests with those of the Republic of Ghana. In 1970, Guyana joined Ghana and several other developing nations as a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM was officially established in 1961 by President Nkrumah, and the presidents of Yugoslavia, India, Indonesia, and Egypt to govern relations between developing and developed nations.