Asian-driven resource booms in Africa

Rethinking the impacts on development

Clemens Breisinger, James Thurlow
ifpri discussion paper

Today's resource boom in Africa, driven by Asian economic growth, offers new opportunities for resource-rich African countries. Contrary to the experience of previous booms, however, most mining profits now accrue to foreign companies, leaving little room for governments to use revenues for pro-poor investments or to mitigate adverse distributional impacts. Taking Zambia as a case study, this paper shows that despite privatization, Dutch disease remains a valid concern and may hamper economic diversification, worsen income distribution, and undermine poverty reduction strategies. Mining royalties must, therefore, be increased and used to finance growth-inducing investments that encourage pro-poor economic diversification, else many African countries will remain caught in a resource trap." -- from Author's Abstract