Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Free book: "Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa the Tragedy of Endowment" by Abiodun Alao




Abiodun Alao Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa the Tragedy of Endowment Rochester Studies in African...
From the conclusion:

"the tendency to see natural resources either as a “curse” or a “blessing,” or the conflicts emanating from them as being rooted in “scarcity” or “abundance,” is inherently flawed" [...] neitherscarcity nor abundance has been a consistent factor as a cause of conflict [...] oil has, to a large extent at least, beena blessing to Libya while many Nigerians consider the same resource as acurse [...] The prevalence of violent conflicts over natural resources in Africa is due largely to the management of these resources.

[...]

despite the euphoria surround-ing the ongoing calls for transparency and good governance in Africa, theseefforts, though commendable in themselves, will not put an end to conflictsover natural resources in the continent. Although some of the conflicts arerooted in corruption and lack of democracy, a far greater percentage of theseconflicts have emerged because these resources are not distributed and man-aged in ways that benefit the population, especially the resource-producingcommunities, even in so-called democratic countries.

[...]

virtually all conflicts over natural resources in Africacan be linked to the governance of the natural resources sector [...] African countries do not have structuresto manage natural resources in ways that can prevent conflicts.

Haven't read it yet but it looks like a thorough overview of natural resource conflicts in Africa up to year 2007 although a bit simplistic in playing down the role of natural resources because other factors appear more important. Also, the Libya argument is kinda outdated...


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