Governing Africa's Natural Resources: The Resource Curse Revisited

June 21st, 2013
Many African countries possess abundant oil and minerals. While this may seem like a blessing, the influential “resource curse” hypothesis holds that natural resource abundance hinders political and economic development. Resource-rich countries are said to be more prone to negative outcomes ranging from slow economic growth, underinvestment in human capital, and environmental degradation to corruption, authoritarian rule, and violent conflict.
In the midst of a protracted boom of global oil and mineral prices, which is encouraging greater resource extraction in Africa, the prospect of a resource curse is of particular concern for the region.
Early research on the resource curse tended to posit direct effects of natural resource on negative economic and political outcomes, but more recent studies  have focused on the importance of governance in determining whether natural resources are a blessing or a curse.
That is, the impact of natural resources on development is now seen to depend heavily on how and how well those resources are governed. This seminar will survey the scholarly literature on natural resources and development, with a thematic focus on issues of governance and a geographical focus sub-Saharan Africa. It will take stock of the state of current knowledge and to define an agenda for further research relevant to Africa’s development challenges.

What    Discussion on National Resource Governance followed by Q&A
When:   Friday: 21 June 2013 
Time:    11:30–14:30 (A light lunch will be served during the presentations)
Where:  OSISA Boardroom, Ground Floor, President’s Place, 1 Hood Avenue, Rosebank 
RSVP:   Tsitsi Mukamba on    before Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Rod Alence: National and sub-national dimensions of resource governance in Africa

12H30-13H30: Lunch
Gilbert Khadiagala: Global and regional dimensions of resource governance in Africa.

Gilbert M. Khadiagala is the Jan Smuts Professor of International Relations and Head of Department of International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.  He was born and raised in Kenya, obtaining a B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science from the University of Nairobi. Afterwards he studied for an M.A in International Relations at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.  After completing his M.A. he taught International Relations and Political Science at the University of Nairobi before proceeding to the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC where he obtained a Ph.D. in International Studies.
Prof. Khadiagala’s research focuses on African politics and security, foreign policy, mediation, and conflict resolution.  He is the author of Allies in Adversity: The Frontline States in Southern African Security, and Meddlers or Mediators? African Interveners in Civil Conflicts in Eastern Africa , the co-author of  Sudan: The Elusive Quest for Peace, the editor of Security Dynamics in Africa’s Great Lakes Region and African Foreign Policies: Power and Process, and co-editorConflict Management and African Politics: Ripeness, Bargaining, and Mediation.  He is currently doing research on leadership in post-conflict transitions and mediation of electoral conflicts in Africa.
He has taught seminars and supervised postgraduate students in International Relations, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, and African Politics.  He also serves on the editorial and advisory boards of leading journals, publishing houses, and academic and policy institutes in North America, Europe, and Africa.
Prof Rod Alence holds MA and PhD degrees in political science from Stanford University. His main interests are in the areas of political economy, African development, and quantitative research methods. His PhD on government responses to global trade shocks in Ghana was awarded the American Political Science Association’s prize for best thesis in political economy. At Wits since 2002, he has supervised two completed PhD theses and sixteen MA research reports, including nine distinctions and two winners of the School of Social Sciences postgraduate research prize. 
While on sabbatical during the 2008-2009 academic year, he was Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he continues to serve on the advisory committee of the African Social Research Initiative.  Before coming to Wits, he held positions at the University of the Western Cape and at the Human Sciences Research Council, and he spent one year as a Fulbright researcher at the University of Ghana’s Legon Centre for International Affairs.  His research has appeared in journals such as Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of Democracy, and Journal of African History.