Bright Prospects or an Omnious Future

Anticipating Oil in Uganda

  • Annika Witte Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Keywords: future, oil, not-yet-ness, risk, uncertainty, resource curse, Uganda


Analysing competing visions of Uganda’s future with oil, this article off ers a new perspective on the resource curse as a risk discourse. Political and civil society actors in Uganda create and negotiate visions of the future that are framed by the resource curse thesis: oil could be a blessing or a curse. Connecting this discourse to prevalent notions of uncertainty in Uganda’s oil region, I argue that for the people, knowledge of the resource curse increases their uncertainty about the future.

Author Biography

Annika Witte, Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Annika Witte holds a M.A. from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Her doctoral research project on the social meanings of oil in Uganda is associated with the project «Oil and Social Change in Niger and Chad», led by Prof. Nikolaus Schareika. Witte is a Ph.D. student and research assistant at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Goettingen. Her areas of interest include oil, risk, uncertainty, state, police, and political and economic anthropology. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Benin and Uganda.

How to Cite
Witte, Annika. 2017. “Bright Prospects or an Omnious Future: Anticipating Oil in Uganda”. Swiss Journal of Sociocultural Anthropology 22 (May):18-27.
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