Advocates of natural resource extraction in developing countries commonly list five benefits: economic growth, employment, infrastructure, community investments, and government revenue.
Our conclusion is unambiguous: the overwhelming benefit is government revenues. Here’s a roundup of why…
Offshore natural gas finds have been among the big stories in the sector over the past several years. The Italian oil company ENI reports 40 trillion cubit feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas and American giant Anadarko reports 30tcf.
These projections, if proven, would place Mozambique among the top fifteen countries in total gas reserves.
Unlike coal where massive investments have already been made, the future of the gas sector is far less clear. Although exploration has led to ever-expanding reserves, it is important to note that no company has yet made the formal decision to develop a liquid natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique.
Ten years ago, Mozambique did not have an extractive sector. Today, many predict a coming natural resource boom in Mozambique. While there is no shortage of coal in Mozambique, there is growing hesitation around the country’s ability to export and subsequently generate revenues from this natural resource.
It has long been known that there are vast coal deposits in Tete and Niassa provinces. According to industry analysis, Mozambique has the potential to provide 20% of the world’s sea-borne coking coal by 2025.
Interesting advice for how the extractive indsutires can make long term and sustainable investments in Mozambique – prioritise the poorest! See below…
May 21, 2012
Prioritize the Poorest – Helping the Bottom Billion is Good — and Good Business
Robert Jenkins and Anthony Lake
ROBERT JENKINS is Associate Director for Policy, Planning, and Programme Monitoring at the United Nations Children’s Fund. ANTHONY LAKE is the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Students display their work at the Anganwadi centre in Jamsaut village in Bihar. (Gates Foundation/flickr)
The world of international development has long been divided between idealists and pragmatists. The idealists give more weight to addressing the needs of the world’s most destitute. The pragmatists are driven more by impact at the aggregate level, such as increasing GDP per capita. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests that the interests of these groups coincide. In many cases, it is most cost-effective to focus on the poorest groups.
Many of us could spend a few moments daydreaming about winning the lottery or finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But in resource rich countries like Mozambique, the discovery of coal and natural gas, among other mineral resources, can place a Government within a tempest of rapidly evolving circumstances where decisions with regard to the legal, policy and fiscal regimes can mean the difference between sustainable development for all or battling the resource curse for decades to come.