Recent discoveries of oil and gas reserves in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique have the potential to greatly impact and transform economies in East Africa. More than 50 wells were completed in the region in 2012, delivering nearly half of conventional oil and gas resources found worldwide that year. Used responsibly, billions of dollars of new government revenues will support investments in infrastructure and social services; at the same time, these discoveries can engender or exacerbate local conflicts, fuel corruption, negatively impact the environment, and disrupt local communities and livelihoods.
On February 20, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings and Oxfam America live webcasted a multi-panel discussion on the East African oil and gas boom. Speakers from government, the private sector, civil society, think tanks and academia examined the contours of the boom; how to maximize benefits from the sector; lessons from other new producers, such as Ghana; the risks facing these countries; and the necessary policy responses needed to make the most of this new found wealth while protecting the rights of people and the environment.
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