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Representatives of Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation (NORAD), the World Bank and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) met in Tunis on Wednesday October 4, 2006, with African Development Bank’s officials to share experiences on the key challenges in the extractive industries and institutional policies and activities related to the sector.
Bilateral discussions on sector specific issues within the extractive industries (infrastructure, oil, gas, water) were also discussed at the meeting.
The exploitation and harvesting of natural resources continue to be the dominant contributor to the GDP of many African countries. However, the contribution of these resources to pro-poor growth and progress toward the Millennium Development Goals has generally been deemed sub-optimal. As a consequence, the management of these resources, and the range of issues associated with them, has been under considerable analytical and political scrutiny. The most visible of the problems is the presence of powerful and corrupt vested interests in key sectors of the economy, often due to bad governance, weak institutions, and lack of capacity. However, managed rightly, Africa’s natural resources have the potential to serve as the continent’s springboard into industrialization.