n Africa Insight - Nature's gift, man's curse
Natural resources and civil conflicts in the Niger Delta and Cabinda

Volume 41, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


As proffered within the resource curse theory, states which have an abundance of mineral resources hold a higher propensity for contest over resource rents. The resultant rentier system leads a politico-economic contest over access to resources and the associated benefits, fostering economic policies which breed corruption, regional and ethnic factionalism, and eventually violent conflict. As the two leading oil-producing regions on the subcontinent, Nigeria's Niger Delta and Cabinda in Angola are no exception to this trend. To place the conflicts in these regions in their historical context, this article examines the linkages between oil resources and the onset and prolongation of violence, bearing out the significance of the various mechanisms within the resource curse theory which inform the commencement and duration of resource-laden conflicts.

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