Extractive industries in Mozambique: threat or development opportunity?

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Eduardo Bidaurratzaga Aurre and Artur Colom Jaén

Eduardo Bidaurratzaga Aurre and Artur Colom Jaén

As a consequence of a series of recent geological discoveries, in the space of a few years, Mozambique has gone from being a country with scarce natural resources to being potentially one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coal and gas. This is attracting numerous transnational corporations from the extractive sector who are ready to exploit these resources. In this context, we ask what effects the establishment and expansion of these industries may have on the country’s development. To respond to this question, we use various theoretical frameworks such as the theory of the resource curse and theories of structural change. The conclusion is that, despite the potential danger to development that they pose, the extractive
industries may also contribute to structural change and development under certain conditions, external and internal, which, in the main, do not pertain at the moment.

Key words: natural resources, extractive industries, Mozambique, resource curse, structural change

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