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Title:Development and security challenges in oil-producing countries: the main causes and lessons in sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Sefa-Nyarko, Clement
Series:African Leadership Centre Monographs (ISSN 2312-9107)
City of publisher:Nairobi
Publisher:African Leadership Centre
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:petroleum industry
political stability
social problems
multinational enterprises
External link:http://www.africanleadershipcentre.org/images/ALC_Monographs/ALC_Monograph_28.pdf
Abstract:The central argument of this paper is that domestic political and economic factors are not exhaustive in unraveling the root causes of insecurity and underdevelopment in oil-producing countries. Empirical evidence shows that oil-producing countries in sub-Saharan Africa are either plunged into civil war, have low human development indicators, have high records of corruption, have high human rights abuses, or have a mixture of those. The resource curse thesis blames the large sums of oil revenue which accrue to governments as the main trigger which create unique political economy for corruption and mismanagement, which in turn heightens inequality. Consequently, poverty rates increase, and rebellion become rampant, as a result of which some regimes use heavy-handed security apparatus to suppress grievances. However, this paper uses examples from sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries to demonstrate that, these domestic political factors notwithstanding, the role of multinational oil companies (MNCs) in a globalised world play some important roles in exacerbating the problem. It also argues that if the discourse of the resource curse is to reflect the reality in sub-Saharan Africa, it should avoid generalization and consider each case as unique. This is because in cases like Nigeria and Chad, some of the problems predate the production and export of crude oil. It means that socio-historical and other environmental concerns in specific contexts should also be given prominence in the discourse. The case-specific context of Nigeria's Niger Delta has also been extrapolated to provide some important lessons for Ghana, which is a new oil-producer in sub-Saharan Africa.