Natural Resources

Tony Venables (IGC Steering Group Member, Professor of Economics and Director of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies), Joseph Kargbo, and Herbert M’cleod gave presentations under this theme. The session, chaired by Andrina Coker, Deputy Governor at the Bank of Sierra Leone, emphasized that natural resources are technically and politically difficult to manage. Each 1% increase in the share of natural resources in GDP is associated with a 0.09% decrease in growth rates. In fact, only 4 resource-rich developing economies have had long term investment rates above 25% of GDP: Botswana, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Best practice is well-understood in this area, although implementation is a challenge. Presenters stressed that natural resources are a means to an end for Sierra Leone and that the revenue should be used to invest in Sierra Leone’s economy in order to ensure the highest return to this asset boom.