Natural resource wealth has often turned out to be a ‘curse’ rather than a ‘blessing’ for developing countries. Growth based exclusively on natural resources—such as oil, gas, and minerals—is often of a very narrow kind which lacks opportunities for including the poor. This condition—also called ‘the natural resource curse’ – has a long history in thinking on economic development. Experience shows that natural resource wealth needs to be carefully managed if inclusive growth is to be achieved in low- and middle-income countries. Natural resources can also negatively affect the democratic process—the sector has often been associated with corruption and the non-transparent use of resource revenues for private gain instead of national development.
This seminar focuses on the implications of natural resources and their management for economic development—aiming to find ways in which resource wealth could be managed successfully in developing countries; for instance by using the revenues from oil, gas and minerals for development and poverty reduction. In the light of more recent findings, the seminar also re-examines the notion of resource wealth as a curse in order to provide some counterbalance to the more fatalistic negative conclusions.
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