Last updated: 23 march, 2010 - 10:37 GMT

New oil in Africa

Oil pump

With oil exploration and extraction techniques becoming more sophisticated, previously unknown or unreachable oil fields are being successfully drilled.

In Africa, there have been recent, major discoveries in Uganda, off the coast of Ghana and off-shore from Sierra Leone.

Finding lucrative underground oil reserves can be very good news for a country's economy.

Uganda, for example, has to import its oil overland from the Kenyan port of Mombasa, but now the discovery of oil in north-west Uganda could potentially pump much-needed funds into developing the country's infrastructure.

But could it also end up being something of a mixed blessing for many Ugandans?

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The mixture of hope and scepticism that oil revenue will ultimately benefit not just a few, but the many - helping to fund new schools, hospitals and generally improve life for general population is shared in Ghana.

There, a new offshore oilfield thought to hold reserves of some eight hundred million barrels is due to start production later this year.

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