Natural Resource Investment and Africa’s Development

Natural Resource Investment and Africa’s Development

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Edited by Francis N. Botchway

This well-researched book covers a wide spectrum of important issues that are central to investment in natural resources and ultimately, economic development of Africa.

Chapter 1: Good Governance and Resource Management in Africa

Rhuks Ako and Nilopar Uddin

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, law and development


Rhuks Ako and Nilopar Uddin INTRODUCTION 1 Good governance in this chapter is defined in the context of the management of natural resources to include the four principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and management of revenues. As the literature indicates, the values of democracy constitute a core determinant of the existence (or otherwise) of the other principles highlighted. It is thus not surprising that the broad question this chapter seeks to explore is a question posed by President Clinton in relation to Africa thus: ‘Why is it that countries that are so rich in resources are so deficient in democratic resource?’ In other words, what is the correlation between resource endowment and democratic principles as the central theme of good governance? What is the relationship between the legal frameworks that regulate these resource industries and good governance of the resources? Are the relevant legal provisions adequate to promote the values of good governance including democracy (as a system of government), the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and effective management of resource revenues? These questions are examined in the following section, first, by highlighting the definitional challenges of the term ‘good governance’, its origins and its principles vis-à-vis resource management. The third section examines the resource curse trajectory and how it impacts the principles of good governance. The question whether there is a direct or indirect correlation between resource curse and democratic principles is also addressed. Thereafter, the legal frameworks that regulate resource...

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