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Africa & 'The Natural Resource Curse' AFS389/ANT 385/ENVS 385: Getting Started

Another Scramble for Africa?

Poster for Africa: Exploitation & Resistance Conference June 11, Oxford, Gt. Brit.

Africa & "The Natural Resouce Curse"

This guide will direct you to resources for your AFS 389/ANT/385/ENVS 385 research paper

Your assignment:

Final Paper:

The class paper (8-10 double-spaced pages--12 point font) offers you an opportunity to investigate in more depth an issue or topic connected to our class discussions and that relates to natural resource extraction in African contexts.  You should write your paper based on 4-5 additional articles from peer-reviewed journals or chapters from edited volumes or academic monographs.  One of these texts may be a film. 

In 8-10 double-spaced pages, your paper should:

1)      Tie in one or more key concepts from the course (for example: ideas of Africa; the socio-technical aspect of resource issues; the concept of ‘the resource curse’ and critiques of it, the fetishism of commodities);

2)      Be sure to cite at least one class reading

3)      analyze (not simply summarize) ideas and findings of the texts you read; and

4)      make an argument (for example, an argument for a certain type of solution, a certain way of defining the problem or a certain theoretical approach).

Your paper and presentation are worth 30% of your grade.

Other useful research guides:

African Studies Research Guide

African Studies Research Guide: News

Chinese-African Relations

Some Background

Animation -- Riding the crest of a global commodity wave explores the natural resources of Africa and how they benefit Africans. Africa Progress Report 2013: Equity in Extractives 2013 produced by the Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General.

Selected Reference Sources

Title: Distribution of natural resources in third world countries : the curse of oil and diamonds.  12 vol set with compendiums of important documents.  Hanna Weijers (ed.). Nijmegen, the Netherlands : Wolf Legal Publishers. 2009. HD9506 .D452 D45 2009

 Land, Natural Resources and Conflict: From Curse to Opportunity: An EU-UN Partnership in action. Useful UN website with recent topical reports and links to other sources of information.

World Bank is an excellent source of statistics and topical reports. Maintains Extractive Industries (oil/gas/minerals) website as well as individual country information. While much World Bank information is free, also check Emory's subscription to   World Bank eLibrary for additional reports.


 Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment  2008 (United Nations Environment Programme)is a unique publication which brings to light stories of environmental change at more than 100 locations spread across every country in Africa. There are more than 300 satellite images, 300 ground photographs and 150 maps, along with informative graphs and charts that give a vivid visual portrayal of Africa and its changing environment.

Rights to Natural Resources: Africa Interactive MapWorld Resources Institute 2014 map reviewing legislation related to legal ownership of natural resouces for each African country

Of Interest: The World Bank plans to launch in July 2014 a $1-billion plan to map Africa's natural resources with the aim of delineating more clearly the continent's uncovered mineral wealth.



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