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By Sir Paul Collier
Centre for the Study of African Economies
Department of Economics, and The Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

A paper prepared for Investec Asset Management

Locked away underneath Africa are natural assets of immense value, which during the commodity boom of the past decade have started to be prospected in earnest. Landmark discoveries include oil in Kenya and Uganda and gas in Mozambique and Tanzania.

In this paper, which is the result of a research project conducted with Investec Asset Management, Professor Paul Collier explores whether the onset of resource revenues has been a catalyst for broader growth, how successful African governments have been at harnessing natural resources for development and the challenge of good natural resource policies. 

While it would appear logical that resource-rich countries should be able to grow faster than resource-scarce countries, the contrast in the history of resource-rich poor countries, such as Sierra Leone and Botswana, tells us that development based on natural resource extraction is far more sensitive to policy choices than development based on other strategies.

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