The Oil, A Curse Or A Blessing?
aside, I vision long-term dependency on oil reserves as dooming and dangerous. Nothing lasts forever, certainly not oil. The current picture of the Middle East and North Africa is painted as follows, the area represents only 6 per cent of the world’s population but with 66 per cent of the world oil reserves the region is without doubt occupying a central position in the geopolitics of energy. With such large oil revenues at hand you would think poverty and a poorly developed infrastructure and governmental systems would be the least of all problems. The region is a cocktail of tension, political insecurity and of course energy instability. The history of economic dependency solely on oil is already a black one. As witnessed in many Middle Eastern countries and also African ones such as Nigeria, oil has generated extreme political and social instability and institutional collapse. It is therefore vital that from an early stage the Kurdish government starts to think strategically for the future of our economy and energy security. We are already a region situated in a mosaic of trouble, depending and investing extensively and entirely on oil may look promising for today, but there are two major factors at stake. Firstly war and tension can erupt at any time, and secondly, the way we pump millions of barrels a day can only take us 30 more years before we dry out the soil for precious liquid substance.
An insight into the future and reality can hit us hard, in other words as the economists would refer to it we are in a ‘resource curse’, a strategic shift to diversifying our investment patterns as well as our economy will go a long way indeed. Research conducted by the Human De- velopment Index (HDI) revealed that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries who rely heavily on oil resources (or at least have for many decades), are significantly poor performers in social policies such as health and education sectors compared to their economic prosperity.
The over reliance on petroleum can only take us a few decades ahead, for the rest of the time thereafter we are on our own. For the sake of our children and grandchildren it remains the government’s duty to be the game changer. Pushing for entrepreneurship and training younger generation to be future professionals, and encouraging higher education through greater economic support. Innovation should be the new preservation, ensuring economical prosperity and security for generations to come.