1 NATURAL RESOURCES . AND CONFLICT . IN AFRICA . THE TRAGEDY. OF ENDOWMENT. Abiodun Alao NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONFLICT IN AFRICA . Toyin Falola, Senior Editor The Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History University of Texas at Austin (ISSN: 1092 5228). A complete list of titles in the Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, in order of publication, may be found at the end of this book. NATURAL RESOURCES AND. CONFLICT IN AFRICA . THE TRAGEDY OF ENDOWMENT. Abiodun Alao UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER PRESS. Copyright 2007 Abiodun Alao All rights reserved. Except as permitted under current legislation, no part of this work may be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded, or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
2 First published 2007. University of Rochester Press 668 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, USA. and Boydell & Brewer Limited PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF, UK. ISBN-13: 978 1 58046 267 9. ISBN-10: 1 58046 267 7. ISSN: 1092 5228. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Alao, Abiodun. NATURAL RESOURCES and CONFLICT in AFRICA : the tragedy of endowment /. Abiodun Alao. p. cm. (Rochester studies in African history and the Diaspora, ISSN 1092-5228 ; v. 29). Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-1-58046-267-9 (hardcover : alk. paper). ISBN-10: 1-58046-267-7. 1. NATURAL RESOURCES AFRICA . 2. NATURAL RESOURCES Political aspects AFRICA . 3. CONFLICT management AFRICA .
3 I. Title. 2007. dc22. 2007009863. A catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library. This publication is printed on acid-free paper. Printed in the United States of America. To 'Ronke, Fiyinfolu, and Ajibola, for making coming home the highlight of my day Political Map of AFRICA . Reproduced from AFRICA at a Glance: Facts and Figures 1997/98, compiled by Pieter Esterhuysen. Pretoria: African Institute of South AFRICA , 1998. CONTENTS. List of Illustrations viii Preface ix List of Abbreviations xvi Introduction 1. 1 NATURAL RESOURCES and CONFLICT in AFRICA : Framework for Understanding a Linkage 14. 2 Political Geography of NATURAL RESOURCES in AFRICA 41. 3 Land and CONFLICT 63.
4 4 The conflicts over Solid Minerals 112. 5 conflicts Involving Oil 157. 6 Water and CONFLICT 207. 7 Governance and NATURAL resource conflicts 242. Conclusion 277. Notes 285. Bibliography 327. Index 337. ILLUSTRATIONS. Figures Frontispiece Political Map of AFRICA vi NATURAL RESOURCES and the causes of CONFLICT 27. Sources of resource governance 33. Actors in resource governance 34. Tools of resource governance 35. resource governance in the NATURAL resource and CONFLICT continuum 36. Tables Pastoral activity in AFRICA 52. Mineral RESOURCES in AFRICA 53. Major rivers and their connections in AFRICA 54. Population figures of African countries, 2000 and 2050 60. Sierra Leone diamond export data, 2003 5 155.
5 DRC diamond export data, 1996 2003 155. African oil production, 2000 and 2010 169. Breakdown of Angolan GDP by sector percentage 182. Ethnic community conflicts in the Niger Delta Region 187. Layers of conflicts and controversies in the Niger Delta 195. Water stress level in 2000 212. Envisaged water stress level in 2050 213. River basins experiencing water stress in 2000 214. Likely river basins experiencing water stress in 2050 214. River basins and the riparian states 216. Major river basins and flow in southern AFRICA 222. Displaced population from dam construction 233. Water privatization in AFRICA 235. PREFACE. The impetus for this book came from comments made by two people during the course of almost a decade.
6 The first was in the spring of 1989, when a friend and colleague, Tajudeen Abdulraheem, noted during a discussion we had in his apartment at Oxford that NATURAL resource management would be the key issue during the last decade of the twentieth century and even beyond, and that efforts should be invested into looking at how the management of these RESOURCES can affect politics in AFRICA . Tajudeen, then a Rhodes Scholar, was rounding up his doctoral studies at St. Peter's College Oxford, while I was then halfway through mine at King's College London. The second comment came in 1996. In an informal discussion that followed a lecture I gave at the Royal College of Defense Studies, London, one of the course participants raised a crucial point about the possible impact of NATURAL resource manage- ment on security in AFRICA .
7 Like Tajudeen seven years previously, he too opined that detailed studies into the complexities of resource politics in AFRICA would be crucial, if the continent was to be spared some of the conflicts that have characterized its postindependence existence. By the end of the 1990 decade, these two positions had been clearly vindicated, giving no addi- tional need to draw anyone's attention to the obvious linkage between NATURAL RESOURCES and CONFLICT in AFRICA . What was even more frightening were the apocalyptic predictions being made in certain quarters that the years ahead would witness many more such conflicts , to further result in the weakening and collapse of state institutions in the continent.
8 It now seems beyond contention that the politics surrounding the manage- ment of NATURAL resource politics has brought out some of the extremes in AFRICA 's security complexities. Among the issues that have been thrown up are violent ethno-nationalism, acrimonious intergroup relations, youth revolts, small arms and light weapons proliferation, corruption, money laundering, war- lordism, cross-border looting, mercenarism, and alleged links with global ter- rorism. The conflicts have raised an array of questions, most of which have been answered only rhetorically. Questions such as: How does one reconcile AFRICA 's enormous NATURAL resource endowment with its appalling poverty? Why is the violence associated with NATURAL RESOURCES in the continent becoming more vicious and devastating?
9 What are the indigenous CONFLICT resolution principles that can help address some of these conflicts ? Why have some NATURAL RESOURCES been associated with CONFLICT in some countries and not in others? To what x Preface extent can one consider these conflicts to be part of the inescapable process of socioeconomic and political reconfiguration of nation-states in the continent? What is the dichotomy between local claim and national interest in the politics of resource control? The questions appear endless, and the need for answers continues to challenge academics and practitioners. This book is an attempt to contribute answers to some of the questions iden- tified above. I use the word contribute deliberately, as ultimate answers are probably unlikely to most of the questions.
10 I do not seek to reify the orthodox thinking of CONFLICT as an outcome of clearly determinable and predictable linear patterns of cause and effect. Rather, CONFLICT in AFRICA is viewed from the perspective of an outcome of contingent predisposing factors of which nat- ural RESOURCES are central elements. Broadly, in this book I examine the ways through which the ownership, management, and control of NATURAL RESOURCES have been linked to conflicts in the continent and the issues underlining these conflicts . To achieve this, I divide NATURAL RESOURCES into four cate- gories land (including agricultural products and animal RESOURCES ), solid minerals, oil, and water and proceed to discuss some of the ways through which each one of these has been linked to CONFLICT in the continent, espe- cially in the last decade.