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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Natural Resource Charter launched in Washington on Thursday

The Charter was formally launched by Paul Collier at a seminar here in DC on Thursday. You can see the proceedings at http://www.imf.org/external/mmedia/view.aspx?vid=628298142001.

Paul said that this is the moment for natural resources. The conjunction of high prices and the wave of discoveries is the big opportunity for many developing countries to transform themselves with their own money: the scale of the money dwarfs aid, dwarfs remittances, dwarfs foreign direct investment. But the evidence history is not kind. The challenge is to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself: the challenge is about changing behavior so that this time it is different. The Charter itself can be found at www.naturalresourcecharter.org. It is pitched at governments - ministers, civil servant, and at citizens. Paul said (several times) that, "there is no substitute for a critical mass of informed opinion".

Jeffery Sachs also spoke at a seminar on the subject of avoiding the resource curse on the previous day: so there's been no shortage of analysis of the problem or the potential during the Annual Meetings. Sachs said that what's needed are better political institutions. No one would disagree with that ...

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