A recent report produced by Oxford Policy Management’s Extractive Industries team, suggests Papua New Guinea is “especially vulnerable” to the resource curse, as a result of growing dependence on minerals.
The report claims mineral dependence negatively impacts on economic growth, “non-fuel, mineral dependent countries are more likely to have lower economic development than other countries”.
It also argues: “Countries that depend on either non-fuel or fuel minerals are also more likely than other countries to suffer from institutional governance problems such as corruption and political instability”.
However, perhaps most disconcerting from Papua New Guinea’s perspective is the following finding: “More than 20 mineral-dependent countries are especially vulnerable to the ‘resource curse’ – the risk that substantial changes in commodity prices will severely affect their development. Non-fuel, mineral-dependent countries that are most at risk of the resource curse include: Bolivia, Burkino Faso, the DRC, Ghana, Guyana, Laos, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Zambia".
Hopefully this report will be picked up and scrutinised by those in the mass-media and government who are at the forefront of the mining = development brigade - however, given that it raises uncomfortable facts which question this assumption, its findings might be tactically avoided.