Nation-specific African content is also provided, organized around an interactive map of the continent.


The four resources below highlight an example of very positive overall outcomes for one African nation, Botswana, a nation that has grasped its mineral resources endowment opportunities; the cases of Sierra Leone and Nigeria, which continues to face major challenges; and a slideshare presentation relating to African mineral resources development for the continent as a whole. 

An African Success Story: Botswana

Acemoglu, D., Johnson, S., & Robinson, J., ‘An African Success Story: Botswana’ in Rodrik, D., (ed.) Search of Prosperity: Analytical Narratives on Economic Growth, p. 80-119, (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003)

The management of natural resource wealth has proved challenging for many resource rich countries and has led to the popular resource curse concept. This paper focuses on the natural resource management in Botswana and factors responsible for its successes. The authors note that Botswana has had the highest rate of per capita growth of any country in the world in the last 35 years despite adverse initial conditions, including minimal investment during the colonial period and high inequality.  Read the full EI Source Book summary of this publication.

Sierra Leone: Emerging from Civil War, Rich in Diamonds

Sierra Leone is slowly emerging from a protracted civil war, which lasted from 1991 to 2002. Its economy, traditionally dependent upon diamond and other mineral mining, continues to recover, but from a very damaged base. The below summary document focuses on this vital economic sector in the joint context of governance and post civil war reconstruction.

Machonachie, R., Diamond Mining, Governance Initiatives and Post-conflict Development in Sierra Leone, (Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) Working Paper 50, University of Manchester, July 2008)

This paper focuses on good governance challenges faced in small scale diamond mining in Sierra Leone. The paper critically examines two diamond initiatives in the mining sector, the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF) with a note of shortcomings in their implementation processes. In this regard, the author notes that as a result of the dispersed geological nature of diamond deposits, their governance and trade are exceptionally challenging and are capable of rendering the KPCS Initiative somewhat ineffective. Similarly, concerns over the misuse of funds, lack of transparency, lower community awareness and participation in decision making processes over the use of funds are factors militating against the effectiveness of the DACDF.

Read the full EI Source Book summary of this publication.

Nigeria: Dutch Disease or Debt Overhang?

Abstract: Nigeria's oil boom has not brought an end to poverty and to perennial stagnation in the non-oil economy. Is this the unavoidable consequence of the resource curse, or have misguided policies contributed? Is Nigeria's recent turnaround a shift towards sustained higher growth or a temporary demand-induced boom after the unanticipated jump in oil prices? We conclude that Debt Overhang problems exacerbated by misguided policies were the main factor behind the sorry performance of the previous century and that recent changes are in the right direction. But there are signs of slippage. It is too early to claim victory.


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