Natural Resource Abundance: A Hidden Drag on Africa’s Development?

  • Alexis HabiyaremyeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


Africa is abundantly endowed with oil and mineral resources but paradoxically remains the poorest continent. Despite being home to approximately 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resource deposits, however, the continent has hitherto failed to transform this coveted advantage into economic development for its populations. Instead of bringing prosperity, the exploitation of natural resources has often been a source of violent conflicts and environment degradation in various corners of the continent, often by the influence of powerful foreign corporations. Whereas the resource curse literature has suggested economic and social factors to explain this paradox of plenty, the role played by foreign corporations in the nexus between the exploitation of African resources and poor economic performance has been virtually absent from the academic debate. This chapter explores the nexus between resource abundance and poor economic performance in various resource-rich African countries in light of the influence of foreign powers and their corporations on violent conflicts and capital flight.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Sciences Research CouncilCape TownSouth Africa

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