An evaluation of governmental policies used in the management of natural resources: A focus on Botswana and Nigeria and lessons for Ghana

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Abstract This paper examines the theory of the resource curse in relation to Botswana and Nigeria, two countries in Africa abundant in natural resources. After reviewing existing literature relevant to the topic, this paper considers policies and regulations used in the management of natural resources from both countries in an attempt to find out how Botswana has managed to be identified as a country enjoying unmatched growth rates in Africa while Nigeria is barely taking advantage of the resources available to it. This analysis will serve as a reference point to the Ghanaian government on steps to take to avoid the resource curse in its enthusiasm to benefit from the Jubilee oil fields. With regards to Ghana, this paper reviews the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and its provisions for the collection and distribution of petroleum revenue in the country. The paper focuses on anti corruption measures used in both countries to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of rent. The paper comes to the conclusion that transparency plays a key role in the growth and development of a country especially when it comes to resource revenue. It must therefore be noted that institutions play an important role in the management of resource revenue, and even though it is important to learn from other successful countries, policies used to combat corruption must be modified to suit the economic, political, social and legal environment of the particular country. Keywords: natural resources, resource curse, institutions, corruption
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2012
Ghana, natural resources, resource curse, Nigeria, Botswana