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Article

Africa’s mineral wealth: A blessing or a curse?

We...estimate that the continent’s natural resources will contribute over $30bn per annum in government revenues over the next 20 years...Africa is said to be losing over $60 billion a year in illegal outflows and price manipulation in the extraction of minerals, with most of the proceeds going offshore. Natural resources industries, and especially extractives, have developed as ‘enclave economies’, generating wealth that is exported rather than shared, or ploughed into the areas where it is needed most, in meeting human development challenges and building infrastructure. There needs to be robust policy, sound regulatory and legal frameworks, and transparency in how decisions on the exploitation of resources are taken, and the revenues distributed. That is why the first priorities in dealing with natural resources are not so much about exploration or exploitation or the environment…but about best policy and practice.