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Namibia’s Third Oil Discovery: Can It Avoid the “Oil Curse”?

Namibia’s Third Oil Discovery: Can It Avoid the “Oil Curse”?

Namibia’s National Petroleum Corporation (Namcor) has announced a third oil discovery in the Orange Basin, off the southern coast of the country. This follows two major oil discoveries made in Q1 2022, in which Shell, Qatar Energy, and Namcor are joint venture partners. Experts are concerned that without effective measures to curb corruption, the country may not profit from the oil finds. In order to manage oil revenue and minimize the risk of corruption, Namibia needs competent and accountable institutions and to close all legislative loopholes to avoid the so-called “oil curse.”

According to Rosita Ndumbu, a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Namibia should not assume that the discovery of oil will solve all of the country’s problems. Ndumbu highlighted the challenges that Angola and Nigeria have faced despite being major oil-producing nations. She suggested that the government should review existing legislation and join international anti-corruption bodies to promote transparency initiatives, allowing it to align itself with international standards and identify and minimize corruption.

Namibia should take concrete steps to avoid a potential oil curse, such as those experienced by other resource-rich nations. This includes the establishment of competent and accountable institutions, closing of legislative loopholes, and joining international anti-corruption bodies to promote transparency. By taking these measures, Namibia can minimize the risk of corruption and ensure that the oil discovery brings long-term benefits to the country.

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