Chapter 18Natural Resources: A Blessing or a Curse?

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Malan Rietveld and Ashley Millar


Historically, natural resources such as coal and iron played a critical role in the industrialisation of the western world. Yet, more recently resource rich countries, including many in Africa, have performed worse than their resource scarce counterparts. This chapter explores the major explanations for the resource curse and then examines two contrasting cases (Nigeria and Botswana), of natural resource management in Africa.


Rietveld, Malan and Millar Ashley (2020). “Natural Resources: A Blessing or a Curse?”, In Ewout Frankema, Ellen Hillbom, Ushehwedu Kufakurinani and Felix Meier zu Selhausen (eds.), The History of African Development: An Online Textbook for a New Generation of African Students and Teachers. African Economic History Network.

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