Resources

Governing Africa's Natural Resources: The Resource Curse Revisited

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.
 
SARW Date: 
Friday, June 21, 2013 - 23:15
English

Improve Sustainable Land Management Policy and practice interaction through civil society capacity building

The threats to sustainable land management practices are complex and require active engagement of local communities and civil society organizations in crafting practical policy responses at national, regional and international level.

SARW Date: 
Monday, July 8, 2013 - 08:45
English

Building the relationship

The country studies were, understandably, concerned to make recommendations which assumed that the relationship between China and Southern African countries was a commercial one (rather than an exercise in South-South solidarity). This meant that the proposals examined how this commercial arrangement could be.come more attuned to local needs (rather than on how the claimed solidarity could be deepened). A strong theme in the recommendations proposed is the need for civil society to play a greater role in the relationship between China and the coun.tries studied. 
 
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Development impact

One theme in this study is that Chinese investment can potentially make a develop.mental impact, but that it is not anywhere near reaching its development potential – concrete changes are needed to ensure that this potential is realised. The country stud.ies proposed a variety of ways of enhancing development impact. 
 
Our Angolan study urged measures to understand better the effect of China’s economic presence prior to regulating it. It urges Angola to: 
 
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Working conditions and corporate social responsibility

The working conditions in Chinese enterprises were a particular cause for concern, and many recommendations were proposed to ensure improvements in these conditions. Many of the recommendations rely on a greater government role, but the need to include worker organisations and to ensure that they have an effective say was also stressed. 
 
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Removing internal constraints

This report has argued repeatedly that Chinese investment will not trigger sustained de.velopment unless host countries become more active in legislating to ensure a fit between Chinese resources and local needs, and in ensuring that laws are respected. It has argued that development impact is hampered by local constraints which need to change if the Chinese presence is to be more appropriate to countries’ needs.
English

Conclusion: challenges and policy options for the problems of china in Africa’s extractive industries

China has prioritised Africa as a strategic partner at both the political and economic level, but the China-Africa economic relationship is still in its infancy. China’s drive for oil and raw materials has initiated a new scramble for Africa, the long-term implications of which are uncertain. As Christopher Clapham argues “China’s irruption onto the African scene has been the most dramatic and important factor in the external relations of the continent – perhaps in the development of Africa as a whole – since the end of the Cold War.” 
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