Oil is a good concealed mineral that assumed a important importance in modern times. Industries, transit, heating everything spin around the necessity of energy. The universe needs energy and oil is still one of its chief beginnings. Therefore, one may state that an oil-rich state would hold adequate to win and make high degrees of development. However, figures prove the antonym and demo some Sub Saharan African states with low degrees of growing, or in most instances, with high degrees of growing in GNP but excessively scarce reverberation in development indexs, despite their oil wealth. Many say there is a “ expletive ” associated to natural resources wealth, I should state that this expletive may be but it is non independent from other factors because there are some states where until now it has been a “ approval ” .

I will so reflect upon the different facets that contribute for the fact that some oil-rich states are unable to execute good and to truly better their people ‘s lives with the income “ extracted ” from oil production. I will reason that, and giving the illustration of Angola, the indexs still show an developing state, where life anticipation and child mortality rate for illustration wholly contrast with the growing in GNP in last old ages. Among those facets, I will emphasize the corruptness and deficiency of transparence that usually characterizes these states ‘ authoritiess, every bit good as the dependence in oil sector and its effects in other sectors of the economic system ( Dutch Disease ) and the deficiency of investing and concern sing instruction. I will curtail my analysis to these three factors despite the consciousness that might be enough of others.

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In this paper, it will besides be given the illustration of Norway as a instance of success but merely to hold on the chief policies that contributed for this expletive ‘s flight.

In the terminal of the paper, I will suggest some suggestions to change by reversal the expletive and to take good advantage of the approval that can be to hold black gold below one ‘s ain dirt. Those are non evidently marvelous solutions but merely my vision of how things can be done in different ways and what different waies can be followed in order to eventually acquire into the development path.

I would merely wish to clear up what is my reading of the word development since this will be a cardinal construct across the essay. It is a challenge to, within a few words, depict a construct that has been profoundly discussed in many old ages across literature. Yet, by development I mean the combined phenomena of growing ( in footings of wealth creative activity and income ) with better conditions of life ( in footings of for illustration wellness, entree to instruction and political pick ) . Economic growing is so a necessary but non adequate status. If all income corsets concentrated in a certain societal stratum and does non better the life conditions of the population as a whole, so a rapid income growing will non be plenty for development achievement. That achievement can so merely be assured by a clear betterment in existent life.

Angola – poorness around immense wealth

Angola is nowadays one of the most of import oil manufacturers from Sub- Saharan Africa, holding produced, in 2008, around 1,9 million barrels/day ( 2008 information from Angola National Bank ) . The economic system is highly dependent on oil production and great portion of the registered growing in GDP in 2007 and 2008 ( 24 % and 15 % ) is explained by the oil sector ‘s dynamic. Although other sectors are besides turning, the dependence in this black gold is an undeniable fact in Angolan ‘s economic system, which is a ground of concern for the following old ages[ 1 ]. Harmonizing to Angola Energy Data, sing the sum of oil militias existent in the state and the care of the existent degree of production, the former will merely be assured for another 13 old ages.[ 2 ]

This dynamism in the oil sector has been so responsible for the growing registered in past old ages, benefiting, viz. from the addition in oil monetary values and the turning oil production. However, and harmonizing to World Bank ‘s informations[ 3 ], despite the impressive growing of GDP in 2005, 2007 and 2008 ( 20,6 % , 20,3 % and 14,8 % ) , Angola ‘s life anticipation at birth has hardly changed ( 46, 47 and 47 ) and Mortality rate under the age of 5 per million births has decreased significantly from 191 to 158 between 2000 and 2005 but in 2007 the rate suffered no alterations. Furthermore, in 2007, 38,5 % of the population was expected non to last to age of 40, 49 % is non utilizing an improved H2O beginning and 31 % of kids aged under 5 are scraggy for age.

Merely by analyzing indexs it is possible to conceive of the degree of poorness these people live in but this thought would even be clearer merely by doing a speedy trip through Luanda ‘s streets. Angola ‘s capital metropolis escaped from civil war and therefore was the finish of 1000s of people, seeking to happen a safe topographic point to re-start their lives. Luanda which is a metropolis able to shelter around half million people, has nowadays a population of around 3,5 million. This is a clear obstruction to the betterment in life conditions and offers a favorable land to disease ‘s proliferation and to really hapless and unequal lodging conditions.

Obviously, Luanda is besides the metropolis where the richest people of the state live excessively. The Southern portion of the metropolis ( Luanda Sul ) , seems like a different one, where the traffic is still helter-skelter but where nice houses and exiles resorts can be easy found.

Yet if life is hard in Luanda ( for the bulk of the people populating at that place ) in the other desertified states, the more rural landscape does non cover the degree of poorness and economic retardation.

Angola is, for all described above, pushed to a topographic point in Human Development Index tabular array that clearly contrasts with the topographic point assumed in Sub Saharan Africa as one of the most of import oil manufacturers.

Does Governance affairs?

Angola became an independent state in 1975 after 14 old ages of war between Portugal ( its former coloniser ) and their people. During these 14 old ages, three release groups were formed: MPLA, FNLA and UNITA. With the independency, these three groups agreed to represent a transitional authorities and fix for free elections. However, a civil war shortly started between MPLA and UNITA/FNLA, which had antecedently formed an confederation. Merely in 1991, a peace understanding was signed and eventually elections were held. However, since consequences in first unit of ammunition were non effectual ( MPLA won in parliamentary ballot, being allowed to organize authorities but in footings of president election Jose Eduardo Department of State Santos, MPLA leader, had more ballots than Jonas Savimbi, UNITA leader, but non plenty ) a 2nd unit of ammunition had to be held, yet civil war erupted once more. Merely in 2002, and after UNITA leader liquidator, peace was back to Angola.

This war had had tragic consequences for the state, killing around half million people and displacing 2 to 4 million of others, destructing its infra-structures and weakening and disorganising an full state.

If at first this war was driven by political orientations ( socialism vs capitalist economy with Soviet Union and Cuba back uping MPLA and US back uping UNITA ) later it became a inquiry of commanding resource ‘s wealth. Both sides knew that representing authorities would intend holding entire control over all that wealth.[ 4 ]

Still today, after the war ended, and despite the undeniable growing in political stableness in this state, all this background of battle for wealth and taking the better advantage of resource wealth affects political system and the manner today ‘s authorities manage oil money. This is the historical model that wraps this African state and that should non be forgotten, when development solutions and orientations are designed.

But why is there a nexus between resource wealth and corruptness? Literature says and the world excessively that in many instances resource wealth is associated to hapless establishments, deficiency of democratic mechanisms, low degrees of freedom, one party societies and autocratic authoritiess. This is apparent in states for illustration like Nigeria, Congo and Angola in Africa but besides in Brunei, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. However, the nexus between these two phenomena implies that the state is chiefly a non democratic state. That means, if the state has an autocratic and corrupt authorities to get down with, oil finds will most likely enhance and provender that government, in malice of advancing the rise of democratic values and establishments.

As Katz, Bartsch and Malothra stated

the chief challenges [ of an oil dependent economic system ] come from the high volatility of oil monetary values, the enclave nature of the oil sector, the exhaustibility of oil militias and the high concentration of gross flows from the oil sector, which invites rent seeking behavior and may take to governance jobs ”[ 5 ].

These administration jobs and all the corruptness involved are non in favor to development, chiefly because the wealth created and obtained is non being transparently distributed through the population. An Angolan University Professor Justino Pinto de Andrade said: “ The function of the province should be to take that wealth and use it in ways that will profit the people of Angola. The oil grosss travel directly to the province budget, but the people see really small benefit. ”[ 6 ]

In fact, corruptness and deficiency of transparence are two of the major jobs of Angola ‘s economic system and society. Harmonizing to Nicholas Shaxson[ 7 ], if earlier, and until the 90s, oil companies were the 1s blamed for the incapableness of transferring and administering the wealth involved in oil production to Angolans ‘ existent life ( being blamed of cultivating western imperialism ) , after that clip started turning the consciousness that the deficiency of cheques and balances[ 8 ]within a corrupt society where establishments do non work, non merely impedes development in a sustainable footing but besides feeds that same government.

In the graph below ( World Bank Data ) , it can be seen how indexs like Control of Corruption and Rule of Law have evolved throughout the old ages. It is rather seeable that these figures are still in really low degrees comparing to states worldwide.[ 9 ]

Within a society and political system like the one represented above, the resource direction is clearly non the 1 that most favours the quality of life and development criterions of the state. Like Neil Ford, in his article in African Business Magazine, asked, I may besides inquire “ Where does all the oil money travel? ” This is a just and challenging uncertainty.

Since authorities ‘s histories are non normally published, or even if they are, they hardly represent the world, it is hard to recognize the sum of money involved in oil operations. Equally good as authorities ‘s histories besides the content of the contracts, signed between authorities and oil companies, are non publically known. These contracts set up non merely the payment of royalties and other standard payments but besides the payment of signature fillips and other fillips throughout the contract ( for illustration when the company starts boring, when it finds oil, when it achieves a certain degree of oil production, among others ) and these are the sums which are the most hard to happen path of.

Angola ‘s oil net incomes are controlled non by the Treasury and the cardinal bank, as required by jurisprudence, but by Sonangol [ province owned oil company ] and the president ‘s office. Much of the money is deposited in secret offshore bank histories. Hundreds of 1000000s of dollars were said to be held in Sonangol histories in assorted states.[ 10 ]

In recent old ages at that place has been international force per unit area, viz. in Oil companies, in order to do publically known the sums that are being paid as fillips and that are non included in authorities ‘s financial histories. Harmonizing to McMillan[ 11 ], in 2001, BP ( British Petroleum ) following this international concern, stated that a signature fillip of around 100 million USD had been paid to Angola. Obviously this was at the clip extremely advertised throughout the universe imperativeness. Sonangol ‘s response to that was “ Given the earnestness of the state of affairs if the proviso of information by your company is confirmed and we observe moral or material harm thereof, we reserve the right to take appropriate action. ”[ 12 ]This response was clearly bring oning the purpose to end the contract, unless BP took steps in order to distort its first statement. This is merely an illustration to demo how powerful a authorities can be, when immense sums of money and involvements are involved.

Corruptness is a unsafe rhythm and that since it is rooted in the society needs deep steps to be annihilated. But why does oil contributes for its incrustration? Michael Ross[ 13 ]refers three possible accounts for the thesis that oil has anti democratic effects and provenders corruptness and autocratic authoritiess: rentier consequence, repression consequence and modernisation consequence.

The rentier consequence is related to the fact that usually in resource rich states revenue enhancements are low, which contributes to a minor answerability from the authorities, that means that since people are non strongly lending for authorities ‘s safes they wo n’t experience legitimized to demand any peculiar steps or attitudes, nor will they be anticipating any representation from their authorities ( in Angola, income revenue enhancement rate upper limit is 15 % ) .

The repression consequence consequences from the possibility that authoritiess in these states have of utilizing portion of the wealth available in vouching that no democratic aspirations win, passing the necessary money in internal security and prohibition of the fundamental law of any groups that could jeopardize government ‘s continuity.

Finally, the modernisation consequence relates to the thought that an oil rich state and all the system environing that type of economic system do non ease the set of societal and cultural alterations needed for the fundamental law of democracy, “ including occupational specialisation, urbanisation, and higher degrees of instruction that in bend are caused by economic development ”[ 14 ]

On the other manus, Benjamin Smith tested the correlativity between oil wealth and government lastingness. His chief end was to understand how governments from oil wealth states resisted even during major crisis like in the 70s and 80s. His trials ‘ consequences indicate a robust association between these two variables. However he discards the thought that this correlativity is the consequence of repression. He stated that “ the continuity of autocratic governments in oil-rich provinces long after the flop of the 1980s suggests that leaders in many of these provinces invested their windfall grosss in edifice province establishments and political organisations that could transport them through difficult times. ”[ 15 ]Smith ‘s statement is chiefly that the correlativity exists and that farther surveies should be taken in order to better understand the grounds.

Whatever are the grounds behind the correlativity referred, the fact is that this ambiance of corruptness and deficiency of transparence non merely has a direct consequence on this state ‘s development, through viz. the unequal or inexistent income distribution but besides hinders foreign investing. Although there is statute law vouching equal intervention to foreign investing ( Angola ‘s Law on Private Investment ) , in fact there are clear obstructions in certain sectors, which holding peculiar statute law, do non follow the general regulations of freedom of investing. The authorities has a rigorous control over the important capital that first enters the state and this control is, even if legislated, still capable to corruptness, since, viz. , certain installations are given to those who cooperate within the installed system.

Oil Sector is turning and the others?

In economic systems like Angola where oil plays a important function and represents the bulk per centum in GDP part, the other sectors tend to turn in a much slower beat. The economic system is focused on the sector that it is in fact making high degrees of wealth and so others tend to be forgotten. Despite the non oil sectors ‘ growing in last few old ages, in footings of per centum of GDP the importance of the oil sector remains integral ( 56 % in 2002 and 58 % in 2008 ) .

The Dutch Disease is the phenomenon that normally is referred to every clip resource expletive is explained. It involves, and following the chief literature about this topic ( Gylfason[ 16 ]and Larsen[ 17 ]) , three effects that explain the injury caused in the economic system of an oil rich: factor motion consequence, spillover loss consequence and disbursement consequence. I will now briefly explicate these 3 factors.

The factor motion consequence involves the reallocation of agencies and factors from non oil sectors to the new and turning oil extraction sector. This reallocation puts force per unit area under rewards and monetary values in that sector which contributes for a competitiveness loss in other sectors. As a consequence of this reallocation, besides positive outwardnesss are lost every bit good as know-how, which may harm technological assets already existing and hinders its advancement. This is called the spillover loss consequence. Finally, the disbursement consequence is characterized by the addition in domestic demand that occurs as a consequence of high sums of oil grosss being converted into domestic currency. This force per unit area over demand consequences in an grasp in local currency and attendant loss of export fight.

Once all these occurs, the fabrication sector becomes really delicate and returning this state of affairs is something hard and dearly-won to accomplish, which will sooner or later affect the economic system as a whole. So if at first the economic system benefits from an extraordinary roar, later it will get down worsening its growing, unless steps are taken to avoid this disease.

There is an interesting survey[ 18 ]that concludes that the relationship between oil wealth and growing might be positive every bit long as the oil sector ‘s growing does non transcend 18 % and that above that threshold steps should be taken. The writer suggests the creative activity of an “ oil gross fund ” that should be augmented in encouragement periods and could subsequently be used in periods of diminution of oil monetary values for illustration or whenever the economic system needed stabilisation mechanisms. Although this survey is chiefly set uping a nexus between oil grosss and growing in footings of GNP and I am seeking to understand the nexus between the former and development, I would state that this fund would be a positive step to be taken. It would be a manner of the authorities salvaging portion of the oil grosss that could subsequently be used in the development of other economic sectors and in the publicity of instruction of Angolans and in other steps that would advance a sustainable growing and development. This would merely work if there was a rigorous control over the outgo of this money and evidently it assumes that the authorities is moving in the involvement of the state and non in its ego involvement. This fund was really created in Norway and might be one of the grounds why it has until now escaped from the expletive ( See Section below ) .

Besides this researched effects caused by a dependence in Oil sector another point is that an economic system to the full dependent on this sector is most of the times extremely delicate and unable to better its development criterions. The volatility that characterizes oil based economic system is detrimental societies characterized by malfunction of establishments and abuse of oil grosss.

This volatility has been rather seeable in Angola since in 2009 and still in 2008, and as a effect of oil monetary value decrease, the economic growing in Angola was clearly less impressive when compared to past old ages ( GDP growing in 2005 of 20,6 % compared to 14,8 % in 2008 ) . If this state remains this dependence on oil sector it will reflect every oscillation in Oil monetary values and will besides shortly reflect the production bounds imposed by OPEC. Besides that, a dependence on an exhaustible natural resource offers no sustainability or warrant to an economic system that is wanted to be strong and stable.

There should so be a clear displacement of investing towards other sectors that could regenerate the economic system and convey new kineticss. Some investings have already been made in sectors like Tourism. This can be one of the chief sectors of this state, sing its unbelievable natural beauty and different landscapes that could carry through different involvements. Besides agribusiness should be enhanced, advancing modern and sophisticated techniques and working the rich dirt this state has. Harmonizing to Steven Kyle, Angolan agribusiness has proved in the yesteryear to hold of import comparative advantages and be able to supply “ employment and income for the bulk of population ”[ 19 ]. Promoting agribusiness would besides intend the resettlement of people populating in Luanda to other states, which is a necessary status to better life conditions in the state ‘s capital, given its overpopulation. Steven Kyle suggests so a existent investing from the authorities in this sector so that the loss of competitiveness end point of high exchange rates can be overcome.

However, Angola ‘s specificities should non be forgotten. This state was, as said before, profoundly damaged by several old ages of civil war. Basic substructures were destroyed at that clip and still today are being recovered. Therefore, the presents ‘ focal point on connexions ‘ recovery and betterment is, undeniably, a positive step.


Within an Economy extremely specialized in the Oil sector, the necessary expertness comes, normally, from outside, from the exiles, working for the oil companies and that were antecedently trained in their place states. Even if there is an obvious engagement from local work force ( in Angola ‘s instance, international companies are obliged to hold their work force composed by at least two tierces of Angolans ) , there is a sort of certainty that the necessary accomplishments will be provided from the exterior.

Besides the facet referred above it should besides be stressed the fact that there might be the thought that since there is adequate natural wealth there is no pressing necessity in advancing instruction. There is a strong focal point in bring forthing oil, since it is in fact being responsible for a strong accretion of wealth, and the human capital and its development tend to be neglected. Oil endowment and its natural relaxation in advancing economic growing tends to make a sense of comfort and security that have a counterproductive consequence in instruction investing.

Harmonizing to UNESCO 2008 Report, in 2015 there will still be 3,4 Million Illiterates in Angola, 69 % of which are adult females. Still harmonizing to this same study, in the twelvemonth 2000 the primary registration was of 64,3 % and in 2004 third registration was of merely 0,8 % .

Economic growing can in fact be enhanced by instruction. Gylfason found a positive correlativity between these two variables, utilizing for his survey 86 observations. Yet non merely economic growing can be improved. Reaching better degrees of instruction and supplying it as a right to a state ‘s people, might be the manner to set up democratic criterions and good administration. Furthermore, trusting in good educated local population would besides heighten a better public presentation in footings of resource direction, set uping new precedences and switching public investing into new sectors.

If oil gross is managed good, it can educate, heal and supply occupations for the people. But oil brings hazards every bit good as benefits. Rarely have developing states used oil money to better the lives of the bulk of citizens or convey steady economic growing. More frequently, oil grosss have caused disabling economic deformations and been spent on flamboyant undertakings arms and Paris shopping trips for authorities oficials.[ 20 ]

The “ Blessed ” instance of Norway

Norway had been for long old ages executing good economically and in a similar beat compared to its neighbors ( Sweden and Denmark ) , yet in the early 70s something changed: this state started bring forthing oil. The start of oil production coincided with a better public presentation from Norway. Since Norse states have similar constructions at many degrees: economic, societal, political, linguistically, if one of the three states starts turning at a faster beat shortly after oil is discovered, there is a clear nexus that can be made here. Statisticss show that Norway managed to keep an impressive degree of growing more than two decennaries after oil find. This counters to the expletive and disease normally associated to oil wealths.

Norse economic system seemingly escaped from the 3 harmful effects ( factor motion consequence, passing consequence and spillover-loss consequence, already explained in a subdivision above ) that normally injures oil based economic systems after a piece. This flight was in portion a consequence of this being a good structured democracy, with strong establishments and a successful economic background ( as Larsen suggested ) but besides because policies were followed and there was a clear purpose of avoiding the expected, and for many, inevitable expletive.

Norway was so able, at least during the first 25 old ages, to avoid the disease and get away the expletive and really rigorous steps were followed with that purpose. Harmonizing to Larsen[ 21 ]Norway ‘s chief policies were cardinal for its success. Harmonizing to this writer, to avoid the factor motion consequence, rewards were imposed by the non oil sector so that they would reflect its productiveness and non the roar in the oil sector, avoiding by that manner unbalances that would heighten losingss of productiveness. An oil fund in foreign currency and abroad was created so that disbursement consequence could be prevented. With this fund the force per unit area on demand and attendant grasp in exchange rates was avoided. There was besides clear preoccupation in puting in research and technological advancement and besides in keeping the export construction every bit diverse as possible. By that manner, spill over loss consequence was besides prevented.

Along with specific steps to avoid these three effects, Norway has ne’er neglected investing in human capital. As an illustration, the registration in third instruction grew from 66 % in 1999 to 80 % in 2006 and adult literacy rate is, today, really near to 100 % .

The 2007 OECD Economic Survey of Norway, resumes Norse resource direction theoretical account in two words: predictability and transparence.

All oil companies are responsible for the existent operation of crude oil activities on the Norse continental shelf, in a competitory and concerted model ( aˆ¦ ) . But understandings and licences are attributed in a really flexible and advanced manner. ( aˆ¦ ) The most of import determination standards include understanding the geology, proficient expertness, fiscal strength and the experience of oil company.[ 22 ]

Despite a certain lag in recent old ages, Norway is still a instance of success and it is non the lone illustration besides Botswana, Chile and Malaysia are resource rich states that have been accomplishing positive economic consequences.


Since oil is present in our modern times ‘ life, holding it in considerable measures as a gift from Nature could be the perfect opportunity for African states, viz. Angola, to eventually raise its Development Indicators. And I say it could because in fact that is non go oning.

Along this paper I tried to travel through the 3 facets that I think are the most responsible for the expletive associated to oil wealth in Angola.

Above everything I said antecedently, I would wish to emphasize the type of administration that still exists in Angola and how it should be the really first precedence. For everything I said earlier, this type of administration is stimulated instead than disencouraged within an oil based economic system. It is a rhythm that can merely be interrupted if corruptness and incorrect use of oil grosss is one time and for all stopped. I do non mean to happen a solution for that, that is non my paper ‘s purpose, but at the terminal of this paper this is the decision I reach. All attempts should be in that way so that other different steps can so be taken. Merely when people can really swear in the people stand foring them and when all the grosss created by oil production are efficaciously distributed and used with clear development intents, can anything or any policy win.

Once administration issues are overcome, instruction should so be the chief focal point. It is of import to hold, within the state, people with the necessary accomplishments to do the right picks and to implement the necessary steps, following positive illustrations, but ne’er burying this state ‘s characteristics and historical background. And that people should be Angolan. Besides all aid they can acquire from the exterior, its people should be able to, with the necessary entree to instruction, say a word sing the hereafter of their ain state.

With democratic and strong administration and with qualified people the state will so be able to diversify its economic system, switching their focal point into touristry and agribusiness, for illustration as I mentioned supra. They would still bring forth oil but would utilize its grosss with clear purposes in vouching an economic balance.

The sustainability of this economic system will depend of its capableness of variegation and of echoing in Human Development Indicators the growing in wealth production. Oil is so advancing a sort of growing that is eclipsing Angola ‘s existent jobs and that will non vouch sustainable development to this state.