Mainstreaming Mineral Wealth in Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategies
Many studies claim that mineral resources impact negatively on economic growth particularly in developing countries. This paper briefly reviews this argument (the natural resources curse hypothesis) and subjects it to examination. The paper argues that poor performance is not an inherent characteristic of minerals-driven economies. It considers mineral endowments a capital that can spur growth and reduce poverty in developing countries if deployed under appropriate conditions. The paper identifies the benefit streams of mining and the challenges for their equitable creation, investment, distribution and management. It articulates the conditions, success factors and strategies to maximizing the contribution of the minerals sector to growth and development in Africa. They hinge on creating a conducive and competitive policy, legal and regulatory environment and framework for business development; improving governance and management systems anchored on strong and capable institutions; opening up opportunities, sharpening investment decisions; promoting linkages between the minerals sector and other sectors of the economy; empowering communities, establishing coalitions of change, and facilitating knowledge and competencies creation.