Women, Livelihood and Oil and Gas Discovery in Ghana: An Exploratory Study of Cape Three Points and Surrounding Communities


Boohene, Rosemond, and James Atta Peprah. 2011. “Women, Livelihood and Oil and Gas Discovery in Ghana: An Exploratory Study of Cape Three Points and Surrounding Communities.” Journal of Sustainable Development 4 (3): 185-195. doi:10.5539/jsd.v4n3p185.

Authors: Rosemond Boohene, James Atta Peprah


The role of oil and gas exploration and other natural resources in the economic development of a country cannot be over emphasized. Unfortunately, in most oil producing countries women have not benefited from oil and gas exploration. This study therefore seeks to explore the effects of the oil find in Ghana on the livelihood of women in the catchment area of Cape Three Points. Purposive sampling was used to select two hundred and forty respondents who were interviewed in two communities at Cape Three Points about their anticipated challenges and prospects in the wake of the oil find. Results indicate that more than half of the respondents perceive a decrease in fish catch, loss of jobs for husbands and reduction in income levels. It is recommended that in order for women to take advantage of the oil find, there is the need to create alternative livelihoods such as access to finance; capacity building; training and development; and technical services for women in the catchment area.

Keywords: oil and gas, women, livelihoods



"[Most Ghanaian] women are engaged in microenterprises basically petty trading [sic], craft work, menial jobs and farming with unsecured sources of income. The inadequacy of effective policy guidelines to protect citizens from oil and gas exploitation, in various parts of the continent, have resulted in social conflicts and deep-rooted poverty in oil producing areas and widened gaps between the rich and the poor and also deepened inequalities between various social groups including women.” (186)

“Women in the area believe that oil discovery will offer them some indirect opportunities. For example they are of the view that the activity will boost sales, create job opportunities for their husbands, and increase their children’s school enrolment as they expect financial assistance for their children. It is not doubtful to hope that sales will be boosted. Economic signals in Sekondi-Takoradi Township show that prices of goods and services have started escalating. This gives greater opportunity for women in trading. What women need is financial assistance to expand their trading activities. Economically, one can argue that loss of income from fish activities would be compensated by increase in income from trading activities, all other things being equal.” (190)

“Women will require financial resources in order to fill this employment gap. This is the time existing women entrepreneurs in rural areas can generate new business ideas, expand their businesses, and benefit from the wages and salaries received by men working in the oil and gas industry.” (191)

Topics: Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2011

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