Only a few days into his appointment as Yemen’s new Oil and Mineral Minister, that Khaled Mahfouz Bahah has already made the headlines over a statement he issued in 2013 regarding Yemen’s oil reserves. Minister Bahah declared last year that Yemen, as an oil producer country, sat on a third of the world global stock reserve.
Minister Bahah’ statement essentially reneged previous reports which stated that Yemen’s natural oil resources were actually dwindling away at a rapid pace. The most impoverished and populous nation in the Arabian Peninsula, over 40% of Yemenis live below the poverty threshold, making due with less than $2 per day.
Should Yemen prove indeed to hide within its belly vast resources of oil, one would imagine that the country will simply explode onto the economic scene with investors pouring in to exploit such riches. Now that Minister Bahah has been on some level proven right when Safer (national oil company) confirmed in February that drilling had been successful in al-Jawf (northern-western province), Yemenis hope his appointment at the ministry will herald change and greater transparency.
Minister Bahah actually expressed his keenness to promote trust and transparency amid the public by leading an open and honest policy, one in keeping with national interests and focused on providing sound sustainable development projects.
Making mention of acts of sabotage and tribal interference, Minister Bahah noted that as Yemen embraces institutional change all actors in the country should seek to promote stability for the common good as the state only aims to serve the people of Yemen.