The Africa Progress Report 2013 presented at the World Economic Forum on Africa created quite a media buzz. With its focus on natural resources — the extractive industries in particular — the report describes a continent “on the edge of enormous opportunity”:
Over the past decade, Africa’s economies have been riding the crest of a global commodity wave. Extractive industries have emerged as a powerful engine of economic growth. Surging demand for natural resources in China and other emerging markets has pushed export prices to new highs – and the boom shows no sign of abating. Africa’s petroleum, gas and mineral resources have become a powerful magnet for foreign investment. With new exploration revealing much larger reserves than were previously known, Africa stands to reap a natural resource windfall.
The challenge facing the region’s governments is to convert the temporary windfall into a permanent breakthrough in human development. Effective and equitable stewardship of Africa’s natural resource wealth could transform the region.
The report, Equity in Extractives, and more, are available on the Africa Progress Panel website.