n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - The global financial crisis and Africa's "immiserizing wealth" : research notes / commentaries

Volume 1, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Before the current global recession triggered by the credit crunch, many resource-rich African countries were recording unprecedented growth because of a price boom in raw materials. The immediate collapse of raw materials prices and the severe economic difficulties that struck those countries at the onset of the crisis has exposed once more the vulnerability of their economic structure based essentially on the export of natural resources. In this paper, we show that the abundance of natural resources attracted disruptive and predatory foreign forces that have hindered innovation and economic diversification by delaying the accumulation of sufficient stocks of human capital that are indispensable for generating innovation-based growth. We suggest that for their long-run prosperity, the resource-rich African countries shift their strategic emphasis from natural to human resources and technological capabilities needed to transform those natural resources into valuable goods and services to compete in the global market.

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