Africa: exploiting its natural ressources (extractive industries)

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Special Adviser on Africa Maged Abdelaziz. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

High-level event stresses importance of extractive industries to sustainable growth in Africa


The United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) held a meeting at Headquarters in New York today on the role of the extractive industry in Africa.

The event, which looked to the post-2015 development agenda and the African Union ‘Agenda 2063,’ explored how to enhance management of Africa’s extractive industries in order to fully harness their potential as important drivers for sustainable development, structural economic transformation and inclusive growth.

According to the OSAA, Africa has an abundant natural resource endowment, boasting 12 percent of the world’s oil reserves, 40 per cent of its gold and around 60 percent of its uncultivated arable land. With increasing global demand for primary resources, especially in rapidly growing emerging economies, the continent aims to continue exploiting its comparative advantage, with efforts so far seeing trade grow from $251 billion in 1996 to $1.151 trillion in 2011.

Despite strong export performance in the sector, African countries have not yet fully harnessed the full potential of their rich natural resource endowments or employed their natural resource advantages as an engine for inclusive economic growth.

Read the full article: UN News Centre

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

%d bloggers like this: