Africa's Oil: A Blessing or a Curse?

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Nigeria: Classic “Resource Curse” Case

Although pan-African banking group Standard Bank estimates Nigeria has reaped $6 trillion in oil revenue within the past 50 years, 70 percent of the country’s population still lives under the poverty line. Government corruption has been blamed for the lack of wealth distribution.

Nigeria also faces the staggering environmental damage caused to its Niger Delta region as a result of oil exploration and drilling. The oil company Shell currently is being sued in both the United Kingdom and the United States by Nigerians from the Niger Delta who say careless oil spills by the company have irreparably damaged their land and water and have threatened their livelihoods. Civil unrest also has amplified in the region.

(Photo: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

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