Is Africa cursed by oil?
November 25, 2014 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Oil and conflict in Nigeria's Niger Delta region: Between the barrel and the trigger. In the most recent issue of The Extractive Industries and Society, Cyril Obi examines the "resource curse" explanation for the “failure” of African states: poverty, corruption and violent conflict.
In Nigeria's Niger Delta ethnic minority region, inter-ethnic tensions preceded the discovery of oil and its eventual emergence as the main source of national revenue. The advent of oil from the 1970s as the chief national revenue earner, becoming an object of inter and intra-ethnic as well as factional struggles for access to power, contributed to the deepening of pre-existing cleavages and contestations, rather than creating them.
posted by spamandkimchi (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is Africa cursed by foreign oil companies?
posted by docgonzo at 2:22 PM on November 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


In a testimony to the US House of Representatives, Corinna Gilfillan, Director of the US Office of Global Witness, noted that, “…the US government has a major role to play in combating the resource curse in Africa. Better governance of natural resources will contribute to stability and economic development in African countries, help protect US national and energy security interests and promote a more stable environment for American companies”

Do you mean "better governance" for the US interests or "better governance" for the interests of the people of each country? I suspect that they are rarely the same thing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:27 PM on November 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Is Africa cursed by foreign oil companies?

This is it, close the thread. Multinationals acting with utter immorality is more like it...real 17th century rape, pillage and murder bullshit. It's total one-sided resource warfare.
posted by nevercalm at 2:31 PM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Planet Money: How to Steal a Million Barrels of Oil.
posted by Winnemac at 2:31 PM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


School bully declares that certain kindergartners, who are known to have coins he can take, are "cursed with lunch money".
posted by idiopath at 2:31 PM on November 25, 2014 [11 favorites]


I have been wondering about this a lot lately. There have been several recent scholarly works that attempt to explain the dominance of Western Europe in the colonial age using explanations like middle class values and work ethic, geographical properties, coal abundance, etc...

Lately I have been thinking it might be due to a willingness to be evil.
posted by srboisvert at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


CBN* and The Nigerian Economy: A Short Story


*Central Bank of Nigeria
posted by infini at 3:00 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Previously.
posted by adamvasco at 3:19 PM on November 25, 2014


Look at what the oil companies have done to North Dakota, what the uranium companies did to the Navajo. If corporations want what is under your feet, you may as well not exist, at least where you are standing. To make matters much worse, ground penetrating radar has assayed all the world's resources. Remember when they suddenly discovered Afghanistan has the worlds largest Lithium deposits? There is no quantity of any mineral unknown to potential development. We all know what colonialism does, this is just corporate colonialism.
posted by Oyéah at 4:57 PM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


The oil industry hurts us all, hurts the planet, and everyone on the planet. Just wait until they discover the oil shale, and oily layers under ground, create a water resistant layer that keeps fresh water on the planetary surface, rather than sinking wherever it might otherwise go. I wonder if there was a link between the new oil industry and the Oklahoma dust bowl?
posted by Oyéah at 5:18 PM on November 25, 2014


The colonialists before and the corporations more recently [a distinction with little difference for a lot of people] have been exploiting inter-ethnic tensions for centuries of course.

Nigeria, just happened to fall atop a bunch of oil which is a recently more valuable, in the last two or so centuries, than human labor [slaves that is].

I don't know what the recent drop in oil prices means for people in Nigeria but I think any movement either way is bad. If oil becomes more expensive then there is more impetus to exploit Nigeria, if oil becomes less expensive, hence a diminishing profit margin, then there is more impetus to exploit Nigeria.
posted by vapidave at 5:32 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is a lot like going back in time to the 15th century and asking, "Is Africa cursed by a huge pool of potential cheap labor?"
posted by Renoroc at 6:38 PM on November 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


How is it Norway is able to be a major oil exporter without being dominated by evil oil companies?
posted by rr at 6:48 PM on November 25, 2014


rr: "How is it Norway is able to be a major oil exporter without being dominated by evil oil companies?"

Great question! Why hasn't the USA called for "regime change" in Norway since they keep the revenues for their own people? (Don't want to start a derail, though.)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2014


How is it Norway is able to be a major oil exporter without being dominated by evil oil companies?

"The Iraqi who saved Norway from oil" [Previously]
posted by xqwzts at 1:46 AM on November 26, 2014


"How is it Norway is able to be a major oil exporter without being dominated by evil oil companies?"

In a nutshell it is because of reasonable taxation and effective government. They also probably benefit from a language barrier and distance from the United States (which is why Canada is less successful than Norway at managing its resources for the benifit of Canadians).

Alaska has also managed a much more minor Norway style progressive redistribution which is pretty confusing for political stereotyping.
posted by srboisvert at 12:20 PM on November 26, 2014


"How is it Norway is able to be a major oil exporter without being dominated by evil oil companies?"

Sovereign wealth funds governed by an ethics commitee.
The blacklisted companies makes an interesting read.
posted by adamvasco at 3:37 PM on November 27, 2014


« Older The chance to begin again in a golden land of...   |   "stopped vampires from pinning their crimes on... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments