Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa

Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa

The Tragedy of Endowment

Abiodun Alao

Personal eBook

University of Rochester Press



The first comprehensive account of the linkage between natural resources and political and social conflict in Africa.
Conflict over natural resources has made Africa the focus of international attention, particularly during the last decade. From oil in Nigeria and diamonds in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to land in Zimbabwe and water in the Horn of Africa, the politics surrounding ownership, management, and control of natural resources has disrupted communities and increased external intervention in these countries. Such conflict has the potential to impact natural resource supply globally, with both local and wide-reaching consequences. The United States, for example, estimates that a quarter of its oil supply will come from Africa by 2015.
Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa is the first book to offer a detailed look at conflict over various natural resources in several African countries. Abiodun Alao undertakes this broad survey by categorizing natural resources into four groups: land (including agricultural practices and animal stock), solid minerals, oil, and water. Themes linking these resources to governance and conflict are then identified and examined with numerous examples drawn from specific African countries. Alao's approach offers considered conclusions based on comparative discussions and analysis, thus providing the first comprehensive account of the linkage between natural resources and political and social conflict in Africa.

Abiodun Alao is a Senior Research Fellow at the Conflict, Security, and Development Group, School of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College, University of London.


1 black and white, 5 line illustrations
376 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
Personal eBook, 9781782045564, September 2007
Hardback, 9781580462679, September 2007
Paperback, 9781580465427, July 2015
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC LCO001000, POL044000, NAT038000
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Related Titles

Table of Contents

Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa: Framework for Understanding a Linkage
Political Geography of Natural Resources in Africa
Land and Conflict
The Conflicts over Solid Minerals
Conflicts Involving Oil
Water and Conflict
Governance and Natural Resource Conflicts


An excellent survey bursting with facts, figures and interesting case studies. Its structure is wonderful. . . . It would be a valuable addition to any undergraduate syllabus. AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW

Alao provides good chapters on solid minerals, oil, and water conflicts with considerable detail on specific situations . . . This book is useful for those wanting a deeper understanding of how an endowment of a natural resource can harm a country rather than be a source of wealth. CHOICE, May 2008 (J.E. Weaver)

Here is another important work from one of Africa's finest scholars on Conflict and Security Studies. Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa is a treasure of scholarship and insight, with great depth and thoroughness, and it will put us in Abiodun Alao's debt for quite some time to come. --Amos Sawyer, Co-director, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University

As extensive in information as it is rich in analysis, Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa should help this generation of scholars appreciate the enormity and complexity of Africa's conflicts and provide the next generation with a methodology that breaks down disciplinary boundaries. --Akanmu G. Adebayo, Executive Director, Institute for Global Initiatives, Kennesaw State University

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