Natural resources have played a major role in Africa's public arena, defining power politics, resource distribution and gerrymandering strategies in much of the public administration domain. They have also fuelled armed conflicts in Africa, which has proven to be a hurdle in effective statecraft, while being a hindrance to peace processes.
From another perspective, climate change can be viewed as an additional burden for the continent on top of its many other problems. It expands the purviews of environmental security, threatens the very basis of national security and escalates social conflicts. However, it is important to note that the phenomenon of natural resources conflict is quite intricate and a mono-causal link between natural resources conflicts and climate change would not provide the basis for either a thorough conflict analysis or a proper understanding of natural resources conflict management.
This paper seeks to provide a link between natural resources and social conflicts, situate the debate within the nexus between natural resources management and conflict management, and argue for the use of a multi-actor and multi-level approach in dealing with natural resources conflicts in the context of conflict management and peace building.