Resource Based Conflicts

I use the example of minerals as natural resources. If mining was mathematics, then I could argue that, gold reserves=gold=foreign exchange=national income=national wealth. Unfortunately mining does not always follow this mathematical formular. My research in Ghana's gold mines showed that: Gold Reserves=Land Loss, Water Pollution, Loss of jobs, Destruction of livelihoods, collapse of micro-economies. In other contexts, it leads to violent conflicts, loss of lives and destruction of poverty. It is no wonder that countries endowed with a wealth of natural resources - including land, water, minerals etc tend to languish in poverty and in some cases characterised by social and political tensions. Analysing resource based conflicts provides the basis for a more integrated policy interventions in such contexts.

"...First, in more cases than not, mining countries appear to fare better than other countries in their respective regions..." (World Bank, 2002:1)

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