Transforming Society through the Extractive Industries

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Extractive industries have real potential to transform societies for the better. However, fulfilling this potential is neither assured nor automatic.

The extraction of nonrenewable natural resources (notably oil, gas and minerals) has often led to political instability, revenue management challenges, corruption and increased social tension. It is therefore necessary for resourcerich countries to improve legislative and regulatory frameworks, build institutional capacity and strengthen governance, in order to ensure that the natural resource blessing does not become a curse.

Illustrated by case studies of good practice from across the Commonwealth, this book will help government decisionmakers ensure that the extractive industries transform society for the better, while also minimising the risk of instability and conflict.



National Impacts

Extractive Industries and Economic Growth The discovery of large reserves of non-renewable natural resources, such as oil, gas, or minerals1 , may represent a one-off opportunity for a country to transform its society. In the words of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, ‘the process of harnessing natural resources in the context of development is fundamentally about transforming assets that are below the ground into productive assets above the ground.’2 Many developing Commonwealth countries are endowed with an abundance of natural resources that have the potential to make a significant contribution to economic growth and development.


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