Natural resources, fuel exports and corruption policy in Africa

Vincent A Onodugo, David Olufemi Isijola


Theoretical explanations of corruption in Africa are inconclusive. Economic downturn and poverty are the effects of poor resource management in Africa. Yet, neopatrimonialism also stands as an alternative explanation. This survey separate these two theoretical alternatives of corruption in Africa. It examines 54 African countries using the corruption perception index of 2017. It found that fuel-exporting countries in Africa are more corrupt than non-fuel exporting countries with a large associated effect size (Cohen’s d =. 94). Fuel exporting countries were linked with resource-curse theory (poor resource management) and the extractive theory of corruption (neopatrimonialism) while non fuel exporting countries was linked up with only the extractive theory of corruption (neopatrimonialism). By implication, African nations involved in the exportation of fuel resource are 94% likely to be more corrupt than countries that do not export fuel.


Natural resources; Dutch disease; fossil fuels; oil price; embezzlement

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X