Resource Curse Essay

1246 Words 5 Pages
The country of Africa has a long road in terms of sustainable development and attaining the Millennium Developmental Goals established during a conference the United Nations held in New York in September 2010. Sub-Saharan Africa is the part of Africa most rich in natural resources, yet it shows the lowest levels of development in the Millennium Development Goals Progress Report. Africa is a country rich in natural resources such as coal, oil, iron, diamonds, and minerals, yet according to the International Monetary Fund report in 2015, it has one of the lowest GDP’s in the entire world. How is this possible? There are many political and economic factors which go into this, but one of the major problems Africa faces is the “Resource Curse”. …show more content…
Scholars first looked toward colonization, and “Dutch Disease” as being the main culprit. Colonization has long been blamed for much of Africa’s developmental problems, and why the continent has barely made much progress in some regions. Some scholars believe that the Resource Curse is due to poor institutions and government, which can be traced all the way back to the slave trade and colonial rule. Seven European powers ruled over Africa by the 1900s, one of them being the British who rule over most of the shoreline oil infrastructure still operating today. Africa’s resources have been providing the economic fuel for these European imperialist countries. A prime example of this was during the Second World War, when the Nazi military forces of Hitler invaded Belgium. The Belgians then proceeded to establish their government in London, and maintained financially using their proceeds from their colony in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Godding, the Colonial Secretary of the Belgian Government stated “During the War, the Congo was able to finance expenditure of the Belgian Government-in-exile in London, including the diplomatic service as well as the cost of armed forces in Europe and America. The Belgian gold reserve could be left intact.”
Colonization lead to the idea of “The Dutch Disease”. The Dutch Disease is the apparent causal relationship between the increase in the economic development of a
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As the late President Kwame Nkrumah stated, “If Africa’s resources were used in her own development they would place Africa among the most modernised continents of the world. But Africa’s wealth is used for the development of overseas interests.” This problem was not inevitable, and it was always avoidable. The only thing left to do was to create a solution to try and impede the curse, and further progress development. In 2003 the UK government launched the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which seeks to improve management of revenues from oil, gas, and mining. They encourage countries to be more transparent and accountable for their operations. More than twenty countries, fourteen of them in Africa, have formally signed up for this initiative. However, corruption was still an issue. In 2005 Liberia tackled this issue by launching the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme, meant to tackle corruption, fraud, and poor practices under the transitional government set up after the civil war. Africa is a prime example of the effects colonization and a Resource Curse can have on human, political, and economic development. History cannot be changed, but the future is still up for debate. They have the resources and the capability to progress in their development goals for the future. As long as they keep striving for the solution to the Resource Curse, the world

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