Can minerals really be a catalyst for development ? Why is it that Africa's economies haven't taken off when Africa is a major exporter of valuable ores and gems ? What does Africa need to do to turn mineral export earnings into better jobs and living standards for its citizens ? These are some of the questions asked in this special feature on the Africa Mining Vision authored by the African Union together with the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
These aren't new issues: in the past, African governments have tried to use the revenue from mineral taxes as a platform for development, Yet despite their best efforts, poverty has remained pervasive.
Indeed, some even believe that export minerals turn out to be a resource curse, leaving countries with overvalued currencies, dependent on mineral taxes and imported goods.