It seems counter-intuitive, but it is true: countries blessed with abundant mineral resources rarely use such resources to enable abundant life for their people. Rather, resource-rich countries are prone to corruption and conflicts, misrule and misery.
This supremely ironic development has given birth to two disturbing but familiar phrases: 'the paradox of plenty' and 'the resource curse'. Yet, there is nothing pre-ordained about this terrible turn of things. As the examples of Norway, Indonesia, Botswana and a few other countries have shown, a different path is possible.
As few as they are, the exceptions post a poignant lesson: resources are not necessarily cursed; and plenty should not automatically produce lack. What makes the difference is the prudent management and transparent governance of ...