sharing in governance of extractive industries

Africa's Minerals for Development: the role of Transformational Leadership


The narrative of an Africa rising has been the most dominant one in the last decade as the continent has averaged 5 per cent a year growth. [1]  Unfortunately, this growth has been non inclusive as the impact on employment generation and social development has been exacerbated by the failure of most African economies to structurally transform themselves. This failure has been worsened by trends in the world economy, particularly volatile commodity prices, which have highlighted the perils of strong economic growth without concurrent industrial development and structural transformation. Africa’s share in world trade is still very low, and its exports are concentrated in natural resources and minerals. The link between mineral endowment and economic growth has been debated over the years. Indeed, many scholarly articles have argued that developing countries depending mainly on primary commodities for export earnings have experienced relatively slow rates of economic growth.[2] However, there is no direct correlation between abundance of mineral resources and incidence of poverty. Whereas Africa has in general not been able to leverage its resources to benefit its people and transform their lives, some countries endowed with minerals such as Botswana have had the opportunity to use minerals to induce economic growth and reduce poverty.

According to the Economic Report on Africa 2011, developmental States are needed to promote economic and social transformation. It cites five major elements that are essential for building them: purposeful leadership and a developmentalist coalition; transformative institutions; focused industrial policy; investment in research; and enhanced social policy.[3]  This also applies to the mineral sector.

This paper  focuses specifically on transformational leadership since agendas such as minerals-led development and the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV)[4] require deliberate interventions more than an ‘invisible hand’. Indeed the challenges for achieving development through minerals are wicked; the stakeholders are multiple with competing interests; the agenda is ambitious as shown in the AMV and the Country Mining Vision guidebook[5]; and the barriers for an effective implementation are enormous.  

Using relevant data and the particular case of Botswana, the paper argues that transformational leadership is a critical factor in ensuring that minerals lead to development in Africa.


(See attached full paper: MKitaw-Africa's Minerals for Development- the role of Transformatio...

[1] United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 2014. Economic Report on Africa 2014. http://www.uneca.org/publications/economic-report-africa-2014

[2] Frankel, Jeffrey A. 2010. The natural resource curse: a survey. Working Paper 15836 http://www.nber.org/papers/w15836.

[3] UNECA and AUC. 2011. Governing development in Africa- the role of the state in economic transformation. Economic Report on Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

[4] The Africa Mining Vision was adopted by African Heads of State and Government in February 2009. For more information, please visit http://www.africaminingvision.org.

[5] The African Minerals Development Center (AMDC) has produced a guidebook entitled:  A Country Mining Vision (CMV) guidebook: Domesticating the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). The objectives of the CMV guidebook is to help member States domesticate the AMV at the country level through a multi-stakeholder consultative process with a view to formulating a shared vision on how the mineral resources exploitation can promote broad-based development and structural transformation of their respective countries. http://goxi.org/profiles/blogs/a-country-mining-vision-guidebook-do....

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