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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The paradox of natural resource abundance and widespread underdevelopment in Africa
Author:Nwonwu, Francis O.C.
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:natural resources
economic development
political conditions
political stability
Abstract:A crisis in leadership, political instability and extreme state control of natural resources has marred Africa's economic development over the years. These negative extremities paradoxically exist amidst a copious and generous endowment of abundant and diverse natural resources. State actors dominate the political scene, clamping down on any form of opposition to their hegemonic rules. They appear to seek to change leadership, often unconstitutionally, not for the wider benefit of the society, but to satisfy their selfish and narrow interests. The illegitimacy of the mode of change generates feelings of insecurity that compel such leaders to want to perpetuate themselves and their cronies in office. In order to finance their costly security requirements or manage the crisis they might have created, they fall back on state resources, exploiting them unsustainably to generate income and foreign exchange without channelling such earnings towards state development. This article reviews the development trajectory and challenges facing political transformations in post-independence Africa. Africa's development stalemate is blamed on the tragedy of self-inflicted and constantly erupting political crises; failure to raise investment capital from abundant natural resources; and limited capacity of states to provide the necessary infrastructure for development. Continued reliance on development partners for development capital has not yielded desired results. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]