In Pursuit of Development

Nigeria and the inadequacies of the resource curse thesis – Zainab Usman

Episode Summary

Dan Banik speaks with Zainab Usman on the politics of development in Nigeria, what African countries ought to prioritise on their path toward digital transformation and the types of reforms required to address the continent’s growing need for electricity.

Episode Notes

There is considerable academic literature on the resource curse thesis which aims to explain why resource-rich countries have not benefited from their oil and mineral resources. And this resource curse thesis within economics, political science, and sociology has numerous economic, political, social, and environmental dimensions.

But in her work, our guest has often highlighted the inadequacies of the “resource curse” thesis particularly in explaining dissatisfaction with the pace of economic development in her own country – Nigeria.

Zainab Usman is a senior fellow and Director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She has previously worked as a Public Sector Specialist at the World Bank and is co-author of the book, The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All. She also contributed to World Bank’s flagship report  –  Rethinking Power Sector Reforms in Developing Countries. Her forthcoming book, Economic Diversification in Nigeria: The Politics of Building a Post-Oil Economy, is set to be published later this year.