I sat in on an interesting session the morning of Feb 3rd featuring case study presentations on how three countries have performed in natural resource boom/bust situations.

* Karlygash Kuralbayeva presented lessons from Kazakhstan
* Anthony Musonda, on Zambia
* Albert Zeufack, on Cameroon

The discussant, Rick van der Ploeg, of Oxford, did a nice job summing up the lessons (and also summarized the highlights in the video below):

the government saved 2/3 of oil revenue into its Oil Fund for future generations – seemingly prudent, but the associated boom in private sector spending, a “Richardian Curse”, undid much of the good the government did.

Zambia: an extraordinarily small share of “rents” from copper production were captured by the government; the royalty rate was only 0.6% and then increased to a still small 3.0%, showing a case of the “curse” of a government not claiming revenue for its own citizens.

Cameroon:  has suffered from a complete lack of transparency, i.e. deep corruption. Of some $20b in revenue coming in, only $8b was reported by the government. A curse of (no) transparency.