Extractives in the Horn of Africa: Regional potential and challenges

The Horn of Africa (HoA) and the greater Eastern Africa region has increasingly become a new frontier for extractives with numerous discoveries and exploitation of mineral resources and hydro-carbons (oil and gas), large scale agricultural projects, large scale quarrying and sand mining among others. The extractive sector is becoming pivotal to numerous African economies and more so the HoA region. This article focuses on the mainstream extractive sector involving the mining of precious metal and minerals plus exploitation of hydro-carbons.

Oil in Somalia: Renewed interest in Somali oil

While most of Somalia is still characterised by clan strife and the al-Shabaab insurgency, the establishment of the AU-backed Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in Mogadishu, and the relatively stable governments in Somaliland and Puntland, have resulted in a renewed interest in Somali oil exploration. This article, through selected examples, illustrates how this oil exploration is exacerbating and complicating already existing conflicts and highlight possible mitigating policy responses.

Avoiding the local resource curse in Turkana, Kenya

The recent mineral resource discoveries in East Africa have been found in marginal, often border areas, occupied by pastoralist peoples. Ironically, while these peoples have lived independently from the states in which they are located, subsisting on arid or semi-arid land considered of little value to the majority, their future now seems uncertain amidst both hopes and fears that those better endowed with wealth and opportunity will succeed in ‘pulling the rug’ from under their feet. This article summarizes recent work on the changes taking place in Turkana, Kenya, following the discovery of viable quantities of oil in 2012. The positive and negative aspects of the changes, and the existing and proposed institutional regulatory frameworks are considered, along with suggestions for the necessary action to ensure inclusivity and sustainability.

"Development by dispossession?" A reappraisal of the Adola Gold Mine in southern Ethiopia

Extractive industries are perceived as pathways to accelerated development particularly in developing countries for their contribution to earning foreign currency. During the colonial period in Africa, these industries remained the bases of colonial economy and at the same time symbols of labor exploitation, displacement, and oppression of native people. While these industries were long established in central and southern Africa, it is an emerging sector in Eastern Africa. The discovery of oil in the Turkana region of Northern Kenya and the prospect of oil/gas in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo belt and Ogaden region in addition to the extensive gold mining, renders an analysis of the policy dimension of extractive industries critical. This paper assesses some controversial dimensions of extractive industries by taking the case of Adola gold mining in southern Ethiopia.