Hope & oil: expectations in So Tom e Prncipe

The notion that there may be vast offshore oil resources in the waters of So Tom and Prncipe (STP) has spurred intense international interest. However, how much oil there is is to date highly doubtful. Nevertheless, the assumed presence of oil has attracted numerous consultants, NGO representatives and foreign advisors in order to fulfil the country’s need for expertise. Of crucial importance, in this regard, has been the so-called management of people’s expectations, which are presumed to be irrational and potentially dangerous. Key to this has been the notion of a ‘resource curse’, implying detrimental economic performance, violent conflict, corruption, or the entrenchment of authoritarian political regimes. STP’s oil economy is an economy in which expectations have been a key object of concern. Their production, circulation and exchange are carefully guarded, and this has generated other kinds of hope in STP, such as the expectation of transparency and good governance. While the hope for oil in STP has not completely faded away, one can see people quietly welcoming the delay in the take-off of the country’s oil economy. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Title: Hope & oil: expectations in So Tom e Prncipe
Author: Weszkalnys, Gisa
Year: 2008
Periodical: Review of African Political Economy
Volume: 35
Issue: 117
Pages: 473-482
Language: English
Geographic term: So Tom and Principe
External link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056240802411156
Abstract: The notion that there may be vast offshore oil resources in the waters of So Tom and Prncipe (STP) has spurred intense international interest. However, how much oil there is is to date highly doubtful. Nevertheless, the assumed presence of oil has attracted numerous consultants, NGO representatives and foreign advisors in order to fulfil the country’s need for expertise. Of crucial importance, in this regard, has been the so-called management of people’s expectations, which are presumed to be irrational and potentially dangerous. Key to this has been the notion of a ‘resource curse’, implying detrimental economic performance, violent conflict, corruption, or the entrenchment of authoritarian political regimes. STP’s oil economy is an economy in which expectations have been a key object of concern. Their production, circulation and exchange are carefully guarded, and this has generated other kinds of hope in STP, such as the expectation of transparency and good governance. While the hope for oil in STP has not completely faded away, one can see people quietly welcoming the delay in the take-off of the country’s oil economy. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]