New Report: The Anatomy of the Resource Curse: Predatory Investment in Africa’s Extractive Industries

Lesley on Africa

My colleague, J.R. Mailey of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, just published The Anatomy of the Resource Curse: Predatory Investment in Africa’s Extractive Industries. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the report in its entirety, but I’ve seen J.R. brief on this topic and know the investigative and analytical work that went into producing it, so I’d highly recommend reading it. A summary is below:

With more than 20 countries possessing bountiful oil and mineral deposits, Africa is home to more resource-rich states than any other region in the world. If accountably governed, natural resource wealth could be a boon to a society, enabling valuable investments in infrastructure, human capital, social services, and other public goods. Yet, living conditions for most citizens remain dismal as a result of inequitable distribution of resource revenues. Natural resource wealth is also strongly associated with undemocratic and illegitimate governance. Roughly 70 percent of…

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THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: IS NIGERIA A SAFE INVESTMENT?

Guardian Global Resources-West Africa

The conspiracy theories are rampant; the mudslinging has already begun. President Goodluck Jonathan has allegedly even threatened to unearth proof of corruption and failures of former Nigerian leaders whom he faults for Nigeria’s contemporary problems, in what many have seen as a quiet dig at his biggest contender: the erstwhile Nigerian head-of-state, Muhammadu Buhari.

This political pandemonium emerged as President Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) kicked of their election campaign in Lagos’ Tafawa Balewa Square on 08 January 2015. Meanwhile, Gallup polls indicate that only 13% of Nigerians surveyed actually “express confidence in the honesty” of their elections, a sad figure for citizens preparing to head to the ballot boxes on 14 February 2015. With such political uncertainty, one question arises: is Nigeria still a safe investment?

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Oil discovered in the Atlantic off coast of Morocco

A major breakthrough for the Moroccan economy?

Arcana Intellego

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:35

If the oil deposits are valuable enough, Morocco may require to a deep sea drilling platformIf the oil deposits are valuable enough, Morocco may require to a deep sea drilling platform

There are clear indications that oil has been discovered off the coast of Sidi Ifni, a city in southern Morocco, the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Minerals revealed.

According to a statement, this discovery was made with the help of three oil companies: Genel Energy, Serica Energy and San Leon. The oil was detected on October 16 and is said to be located 59 kilometres off the coast of Sidi Ifni. Exploration projects began in the area last July.

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Truce between Nigerian government and Boko Haram

The Nigeria government has announced a truce with Boko Haram.

With which Boko Haram faction was the truce agreed? The terrorist group has shown before that it is highly decentralized, making a sustained and durable truce very unlikely.

If it proves to be a solid truce with a surprisingly and suddenly united Boko Haram, my guess is that:

1) the group is taking advantage of the government’s despair by agreeing to a temporary halt in clashes so as to rearm, regroup, refinance and replenish its ranks;

2) the Nigerian government managed to buy (literally) off the group. If that is the case, a huge cash transfer may have taken place and/or impunity has been granted, probably in the form of a Niger Delta-sort of amnesty. Worth reminding that Presidential elections are closing in, and a truce is extremely appealing to the electorate.

NIGERIA’S SECURITY SYSTEM: A CRISIS OF CORRUPTION?

Guardian Global Resources-West Africa

Piracy and terrorism may fill the headlines of Nigerian-related news, but only one issue has been described as the “disease” that is destroying the West African nation from within: corruption.

Corruption is a universal issue, to be sure. But what makes Nigeria unique is that it appears to permeate every facet of society. From the lack of transparency in government finances, to accusations of voter fraud and back-door-deals conducted by foreign energy giants to win lucrative contracts, Nigeria has earned the unfortunate reputation of ranking among the most corrupt nations in the world. All of these aforementioned unscrupulous acts tarnish the image of a country on the economic rise. However, it is the reports of malfeasance inside Nigeria’s security forces that are perhaps the most alarming.

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China in Angola: winning hearts and minds.

Is China making a headway into Angolan hearts? Or is it just a smoke-screen that will dissipate in time?

East & South

China is winning the hearts and minds of one of the fastest growing economies in the African Continent. As the country was destroyed by a long and deadly civil war, China was the only country which immediately offered financial support.

Recently, the deal terms have been the following: in exchange for access to Angolan natural resources, China develops the country’s infrastructures.

There is a positive and negative side to it:
Chinese investment employs Chinese people (it is estimated that around 50 thousand Chinese people are now based in Angola). In this way, wealth is transferred overseas, the common Angolan lacks access to jobs, and he/she does not entirely benefit from this chinese-sponsored development.

On the other hand, Angola is booming. It is on its way to become one of the world’s top 5 performers. Infrastructures are being rebuilt and a middle-class is rising (even if slowly).
One wonders if this…

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