African Development and Political Economy on

Africa is the poorest and most economically underdeveloped continent.  But Africa has natural resources, especially oil, which could be used for economic development, to fight poverty, and meet people's needs for housing, education and healthcare.  Africa economic development is directly linked to issues such as human rights, economic justice, debt relief, foreign investment, and corporate responsibility.  Developed countries, transnational corporations, and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, which in the past have often inhibited African development, will play a key role in the continent's success or failure. 
--- Richard Knight

Petroleum, Gas and other extractive industries

Expanding Petroleum Production in Africa by Richard Knight, [HTML version] (Debating Oil Development in Africa, ACAS Bulletin, Association on Concerned African Scholars, Fall 2002, No. 64)
[PDF version]
U.S. investment in Africa is dominated by the petroleum industry.  Crude oil and natural gas make up the majority of African exports.  Note, despite the date on the publication, the article was written in January 2003.  Visit the Association of Concerned African Scholars (ACAS) web site to read back issues of ACAS Bulletin and to join that organization.

Africa's Blessing, Africa's Curse: The Legacy of Resource Extraction in Africa (Toronto: Kairos, 2004) In the past 15 years, 40 African countries have amended their mining codes and regulations to open up and facilitate investments in the mining sector. This report examines the impact of extractive industries, including oil, on the poor in Africa. Focuses on the role of Canada.This 72 page document can be ordered from Kairos Canada online.

In 1999, journalist and researcher Mike Fleshman, then the Human Rights Coordinator for The Africa Fund in New York, traveled to the Niger Delta oil fields in southern Nigeria to witness, at first hand, the impact of the petroleum industry on local communities and the environment. This report on the AllAfrica web site includes photos. .

The African Labour Research Network (ALRN) brings together trade unions-linked researchers from all over Africa to undertake joint research and publications in an attempt to develop alternatives to the neo-liberal development path.

South Africa
For information on South Africa during apartheid and the campaign for sanctions and divestment go to my homepage above.

A Decade of Democracy: Government and Elections in South Africa by Richard Knight, (Shared Interest, March 19, 2004)

A Decade of Democracy: Economic Policy and Development in South Africa by Richard Knight, (Shared Interest, March 19, 2004)

A Decade of Democracy: Housing, Services and Land in South Africa by Richard Knight, (Shared Interest, March 19, 2004)

Housing in South Africa by Richard Knight (Shared Interest, 2001)

South Africa: Economic Policy and Development by Richard Knight (Shared Interest, 2001)

African development and efforts to eliminate poverty are hobbled by an unsustainable debt burden.  Thirty-four of the 42 countries that the World Bank defines as Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) are in Africa.  And this does not include Nigeria, in which 70.2% percent of the population lives on $1.00 a day or less and has a debt burden of some $32 billion.

National Labour & Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) conducts policy-relevant research aimed at building the capacity of the labor movement to effective engage with the challenges of the new South Africa.  Founded in 1993, NALEDI is an initiative of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

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