Mr. Amadou N Sy, Mr. Rabah Arezki, and Thorvaldur Gylfason
Countries with an abundance of natural resources, many of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, often show a record of relatively poor economic performance compared with non-resource-rich countries. The chapters in this volume explore the potential challenges to countries with abundant natural resources and ways to manage these challenges so as to reap the benefits of resource wealth while avoiding the pitfalls. The book is divided into five sections, which explore commodity markets and the macroeconomy, economic diversification and the role of finance, fiscal policy, exchange rates and financial stability, and governance. The ideas in this book were first presented at a seminar in November 2010 that was aimed primarily at policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa and brought together ministers, central bank governors, other senior policymakers, and well-known academics.
Concern over the availability and longevity of natural resources has escalated to the point where it finds expression in a question that is so absolute as to have parallels not in the social sciences but in philosophy. Having posed the question, the author examines the conceptual boundaries and practical dimensions of the problem of scarcity of raw materials.
The cotton sector in Mali is facing major challenges to overcome, with low export prices, technical hurdles, and a poorly performing state-owned cotton ginner. Some reforms, most notably with regard to the setting of the farmgate procurement price, have already been undertaken, but more is needed to put the sector on a sound financial footing. It is vital that the production process be modernized and the ginner profoundly reformed if cotton is to play a major role in poverty reduction in rural Mali.
This paper analyzes Solomon Islands’ ongoing reforms concerning of the mineral taxation regime and the fiscal impact of mineral resources. The analysis shows that mineral revenue could be substantial, provided that mineral prices remain strong in the medium term. Enforcing the tax agreement with, a Gold Ridge company, and implementing the new resource taxation regime are critical to ensure that the forthcoming mineral wealth spills over to the rest of the economy. Solomon Islands should adopt new fiscal rules and fiscal responsibility provisions to manage large but volatile resource revenue.