Accepted Paper:

Business strategies among oil marketers in Ghana's downstream petroleum industry  
Monica Skaten (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

Oil marketers in Ghana incorporate national, regional and familial concerns in business logics, dealing with the complexities of industry legacies, reform and multifaceted political engagements. This paper presents an analysis of oil marketers in Ghana's downstream petroleum industry.

Paper long abstract:

The state oil marketing company, Ghana Oil Company and various multinational oil companies have served Ghana's downstream petroleum industry for decades. In the mid-2000s, a deregulation reform was initiated along with several state funded schemes to promote private sector entrepreneurs to enter the petrol-industry. Schemes and policies to promote "indigenization" of the industry had a large impact on the number of registered companies, but many remained unsure about the sustainability of the industry due to its historically heavy foreign and state profile. Nonetheless, discoveries of commercial quantitates of oil and gas offshore enticed a larger number of entrepreneurs to start ventures in the newly reformed industry. This paper examine the structural, yet negotiable, frames in which Ghanaian oil marketers operate. It demonstrate how these frames shape business trajectories in conjunction with personal visions, narratives and everyday socio-political entanglements. The paper focuses on narratives of business owners from northern part of Ghana that draw on politics, religion and development as part of their drive to succeed in the industry. The paper draws on extensive fieldwork in the industry from 2012 to 2017.

Panel Anth30
Business at work: new ethnographies of private sector dynamics in Africa