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Public Dialogue on Resource-Backed Loans in Ghana: Risk, Opportunities and Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa

9 November 2021 5:00AM GMT

  • Event

  • Ending 6:00AM GMT

Several resource-rich developing countries have increasingly in the last few decades sought to leverage their resource endowments to finance development. Through these arrangements, governments have secured funding in exchange for or guaranteed by future streams of resource income. Oil and minerals are the most common resources relied upon in such transactions, commonly referred to as resource-backed loans (RBLs). 

In a 2020 NRGI global study of 52 resource-backed loans made between 2004 and 2018, 30 were entered into by sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries and another 22 in Latin America using mainly oil and mineral resources. Sub-Saharan African countries that have taken this path include the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Guinea, Angola, and Ghana.

NRGI and the Africa Centre for Energy Policy are organizing a public dialogue on RBLs in Ghana learning from the experiences of other resource-rich SSA countries. The dialogue will examine the risks and opportunities for leveraging the continent’s extractive resources for development and will consider recent scholarship on RBLs. This includes NRGI’s global research on RBLs, NRGI and ACEP analysis of Ghana’s proposed integrated aluminum industry, IMANI’s alert on the bauxite-barter deal, and several others.

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The dialogue aims to:

  • Analyze the opportunities and risks of RBLs and how to efficiently utilize RBLs as a financing tool
  • Examine the structure of RBLs in sub-Saharan Africa, governance challenges, and how lessons will inform the design of future deals to ensure value for African countries
  • Propose recommendations for effective RBL arrangement, governance, and oversight in resource-rich SSA countries.
The dialogue will be framed around three key themes:
  • Examining the term structure of Ghana’s RBLs
  • Aligning RBL projects to national development priorities
  • Transparency provisions of RBLs
Moderator: Benjamin Boakye, Africa Centre for Energy Policy


  • Denis Gyeyir, NRGI, Ghana
  • Dr. Theo Acheampong, Economist and Political Risk Analyst, UK
  • Ikal Angelei, Friends of Lake Turkana, Kenya
  • Daniel Gbondo, Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, Sierra Leone