Governance and Institutional Reform for Africa’s Natural Resources

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    Obijiofor Aginam

    Africa’s abundant non-renewable natural resources have not translated into improved livelihoods in most resource-rich African countries. Many scholars have deployed the term “natural resource curse” to describe the violent political conflict, corruption (“rent seeking”), and stunted economic growth in most of Africa’s resource rich countries. Based on emerging thinking and perspectives in development policy aimed at improving the governance institutions in resource-rich African countries, especially the World Bank recommended Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the recent Natural Resource Charter advocated by Paul Collier and a consortium of other scholars, this project explores the challenges of implementing these initiatives in select African resource-rich countries that are either in conflict or post-conflict: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Angola, DR Congo and the Great Lakes Region, Congo Brazzaville, and Sudan.

    Key Words: Africa’s natural resources, resources curse, conflict, governance, Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), sustainable development, civil society