Natural resources provides Africa a unique opportunity to foster human and economic development. However, there are significant sustainable development and governance challenges. The effective use of natural resources for development is a multi-stage economic and political problem that requires a balance of several factors: investment to extract the resource, fiscal regimes to capture revenues, domestic linkages to leverage project economics, sensible investment and spending decisions, and policies to manage volatility and mitigate adverse effects on the rest of the economy (Venables, 2016).
The objective of this study is to analyze the importance of considering the sustainability dimension in the current process of economic transformation in Africa. In section 2 the author characterizes the relation between natural resources and economic transformation in Africa looking to the possible contribution of both renewable (agriculture) and non-renewable (extractives) resources. In section 3 the author discusses the importance of including the sustainability dimension and reviews the current policy initiatives on the subject in Africa. The last section of this study proposes elements for a research agenda on how African countries could manage and harness their natural resources for sustainable economic and social development, emphasizing that renewable and non-renewables natural resources should be linked in the national transformation strategies.
Economic Transformation, Natural Resources and Sustainability in Africa