African Natural Resources Center (ANRC)

Africa’s Natural Resources Wealth: A Snap Shot

Africa’s natural resources have been the bedrock of the continent’s economy and continue to represent a significant development opportunity for her people. In 2012, natural resources accounted for 77% of total exports and 42% of government revenues

Renewable Resources

  • Close to 20 million people employed in the USD 24 billion fisheries sector,
  • 90 million depend on fisheries for livelihood,
  • Africa is home to the second largest tropical forest,
  • Over 70 percent of the Sub-Saharan population depend on forests and woodlands for livelihood.
  • Land in Africa is an economic development asset as well as a social, cultural and ontological resource,
  • It defines the social identity, the organisation of religious life, culture, gender, ethnicity and nationality.
  • Water resources are contrasted across the continent,
  • Africa is home to some of the highest annual rainfall in the heart of the Congo basin,
  • It is also the second world’s driest continent.

Non-Renewable Resources

  • About 30% of the world known reserves of minerals,
  • About 10% of oil and 8% of gas resources,
  • Largest cobalt, diamonds, platinum, and uranium reserves in the world,
  • Comparably low level of exploration,
  • In 2012, mining, oil and gas accounted for 28% of the continent’s GDP,


The African Natural Resources Center (ANRC) is a non-lending entity of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The ANRC was established to bring additional expertise and services to the AfDB and its Regional Member Countries (RMCs).

The Center delivers solution oriented and tailored made tools for policy advice, technical assistance, advocacy and knowledge development.

The goal is to contribute to the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy by assisting the RMCs develop natural resources wealth sustainably and promote inclusive economic growth.

Business Model

The Center will be a special purpose vehicle of the AfDB to achieve adequate operational accountability and efficiency.

Combining renewable and non-renewable resources under one umbrella presents a unique opportunity for the Bank to guide RMCs manage natural resources wealth.

Deploying its internal resources, its network of regional offices, strong bilateral relations and the goodwill of its members, the Bank will capacitate the ANRC to deliver its mandate. The ANRC will enter into strategic partnerships with regional, bilateral and multi-lateral organizations to offer RMCs a robust value proposition. Special attention will be given to regional initiatives such as the Land Policy Initiative or the African Mining Vision of the African Union.

The ANRC will use the Economic Communities as entry points for policies on other cross-border initiatives.

In the area of knowledge management the ANRC will work with the relevant arms of the Bank, regional institutions, conduct analytical studies and produce practical tools to assist RMCs.

Programme Scope


Cross cutting issues will include policies on national visions, governance, sustainability, gender parity and skills development.

Renewables (fishery, forestry, land and water)

Exploited responsibility to promote regeneration, these resources offer the region the best opportunity for sustainable resource utilization. To contribute to the Bank’s objective of gradual transition towards green economy, the ANRC will bridge knowledge gaps, explore resource capital accounting models, advocate for equitable resource access and give advice on counter-depletion policies.

Non-renewable (minerals, gas and oil)

The sector accounts for the region’s largest investments. Related projects constitute the region’s largest contribution to gross domestic product and public revenue. The aim of the interventions therefore is to maximize economic value through domestic linkages, cross-boundary infrastructure projects, revenue management and sound investment policy design and implementation.


Thomas Viot