Growth brief: Harnessing natural resources for inclusive growth

Download briefNatural resources can support sustainable and inclusive growth in sub-Saharan Africa if key policy areas in the natural resource management chain are tackled and strong institutions are put in place.

In this brief, we present a framework for natural resource management. This brief can be useful for policy-makers looking to strengthen and better diagnose the weaknesses in their national natural resource management (NRM) framework. It can also be a useful starting point for those interested in understanding the challenges related to ensuring natural resources support inclusive growth.


1) Natural resources do not need to be a curse

The resource curse is not inevitable and, if properly managed, resource driven development is the best growth opportunity for many favourably endowed African countries. Indeed, most of African’s natural resources have not yet been discovered, which represents a formidable opportunity for growth.

2) Governments need to get the natural resource management policy chain right

The natural resource management (NRM) policy chain has five key areas: discovering, exploiting, taxing, ‘investing in investing’, and investing. All of these need to be adequately developed. Government needs to set up strong policies in each of those areas.

3) Strong political actions are required to ensure natural resource wealth is used to support inclusive growth

Governments should build strong institutions and rules, and ensure the citizen body supports them. Strong political actions are necessary to build and maintain the integrity of the NRM policy chain and to ensure natural resource wealth is used to support inclusive growth.