Towards African Growth and Opportunity
The Blavatnik School hosted senior executives from major oil, gas and mining companies on 1 October to share their ideas and experiences of corporate roles in natural resource management in Africa. The workshop was hosted on behalf of Kofi Annan's Africa Progress Panel .
The Oxford workshop explored the relationship between the private sector and governments at both the national and local levels through a candid discussion covering the role of firms in aiding the transformation of natural resource wealth to fulfil development objectives.
‘This generation uniquely has the opportunity to harness these resources for transformation. That is at the same time, a huge opportunity, and responsibility’. Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at BSG, chairing the workshop, highlighted the scale and importance of the issues being discussed in terms of the potential impact in tax revenues but also broad economic benefits such as training and investment.
Sharing personal experiences of ‘what works’, the group discussed the risks involved in the use of natural resource wealth but focussed on the enormous opportunity presented by natural resources as enablers of growth, employment and shared prosperity in Africa. The relative advantages of directly supplying social and economic benefits and provision through government were considered, with participants applying their exposure to either approach in countries across Africa.
‘This workshop, superbly organised by Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, was a major step forward in terms of understanding the policy challenges from different points of view and in terms of working towards common solutions’, said Caroline Kende-Robb, Executive director of the Africa Progress Panel. ‘On behalf of Kofi Annan and other members of the Africa Progress Panel, we’d like to thank the Blavatnik School for their commitment to addressing these issues.”
The Africa Progress Panel (APP) consists of ten distinguished individuals from the private and public sector who promote Africa’s development by tracking progress, drawing attention to opportunities and catalysing action.