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In the humid air of Ghana’s Department of Energy all eyes are on Norway. At his 1960s-era lacquer desk, the chief director of the ministry, professor Thomas Akabzaa, rolls out a large chart. “This is a plan. This is our national dream,” the former lecturer in geology explains, “Norway is our model. Norway stands up tall in terms of human development. One of the reasons for this is that they have been able to leverage their oil and gas wealth for the benefit of their population. This is what Ghana intends to do.”

It’s easy to see why the country’s…

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