Laura Smith, Anne Tallontire and James Van Alstine
This chapter explores the private sector-development nexus, with a particular focus on the extractive industries. Extractives-led development strategies, promoted by development agents such as International Finance Institutions, are predicated upon the benefits that extractive firms (such as oil, gas and mining MNCs) provide to host countries and communities. However, the tools with which the private sector engages in development in extractive contexts are the subject of intense criticism and scrutiny. We use the case of oil exploration in Uganda to illustrate both the issues around the tools used to address community development, and also how the wider political economic context in which the companies operate serves to limit the effectiveness of corporate-community development initiatives. This chapter highlights the importance of continued debate about corporate accountability and the role of government, community and civil society actors in fostering broad-based development benefits from private sector activities.