NJ Ayuk’s first book, Big Barrels: African Oil & Gas and the Quest for Prosperity, has broken sales records, with over 220,000 copies sold since the book launched in June.
Ayuk, Centurion’s CEO was interviewed by SABC News last week about the success of the book, as well as the message of the book, which is to challenge the misconception that Africa’s oil and gas industry is plagued by a “resource curse.”
“For a debut book within oil and gas that is not traditionally what everyone would want to read and it is not Harry Potter. But I think what is happening is that you have a lot of people paying attention to African natural resources,” Ayuk said of the book’s success. “Because when people have talked about natural resources in Africa — whether is it mining, whether it is oil — it has always been associated with a curse. It has always been associated with poor governance and mismanagement. For far too long, we’ve not had a narrative about what is really going on.”
Co-written with João Marques, Big Barrels analyzes case studies of African oil and gas success stories, such as Ghana and Nigeria’s successful implementation of local content initiatives.
“You have to move towards ensuring that these natural resources really benefit everyday people, because these resources are finite. They are not coming back. And if you cannot use these resources to transform your economy and really ensure real empowerment of people, if you don’t do that, it won’t work,” Ayuk said in the interview.
Watch the interview here: