Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust Newsletter: Vol. 08 October 2021

Volume 8 of Green Governance’s newsletter is out! The  edition whose  focuses  on inclusive gendered climate change adaptation, the natural resource curse and depoliticising natural resource governance in the electoral cycle. Enjoy this enriching and informative read!

How natural capital plunder perpetuates the resource curse

When proponents of the resource curse coined this paradox, partly it was in reflection of how huge deposits of minerals (natural capital) have failed to translate into improved sustainable socio-economic development in Africa and the Global South broadly. This notion of “poverty in the midst of plenty” was for the Global South, an acknowledgement that when natural capital is exploited and sustainably utilised, it can redeem millions of resource rich communities out of poverty. Therefore, modeling develop- ment using the capital approach in its broad sense from natural, human, social, manufacturing and financial capital becomes key. Civilisation aims to then ensure that all these capitals are managed sustainably, improved over time and are equally nourished through strong governance systems.

Depoliticising natural resource governance in the electoral cycle

It is election season in Zimbabwe already, and the usual political grand- standing manifestos are in line, as parties seek to draw support from their economic blueprints. It is a period where incentives will be dangled to lure investors, while the communities are promised milk and honey. For Zimba- bwe, like most African countries endowed with minerals, metals and vast natural capital, politicians will use these to lure voters first against the promise of improved livelihoods. Such overtures are also offered to foreign investors, which command capital to invest in the extractive sector – but more often than not in the height of political desperation to consolidate power such deals are often retrogressive. At best huge sums of investments are promised in the platinum, gold and diamond sector without any realisation of such. At worst investors with soiled track records, from China, Belarus, Russia among others are offered concessions in opaque contracts. The principle of multi-party democracy should promote free participation of political parties, provide freedom to organize and express views, and an environment where people can freely and fairly vote for candidates, as it leads to better resource governance.

Read the full newsletter here (510KB PDF)

Source: Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust

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