Various themes that link natural resource extraction and governance to violent conflict in Africa is explored in this background paper, which not only captures the state of practice in natural resource governance from the vantage point of various key actors like the state, global governance institutions and civil society, but also explores the more recent ideational trends which could be important indications of the future of governance processes in the sector. These issues are addressed through four sections. The first section broadly explores the intersection between natural resources and conflict in Africa and looks at how governance deficits have deepened the correlation between resource extraction and conflict. The second section goes on to situate this discussion within the context of global politics by addressing how global resource politics impacts on natural resource governance in Africa. The third section focuses on the various legal instruments (both binding and non-binding) and institutions through which states manage natural resources. This section explores global norms on natural resource governance development and highlight, along with how they are incorporated into legal and institutional infrastructures at the national and sub-national (local) levels. It also draws on important regulatory processes like the Kimberly Process and the EITI. The section will also touch on how these processes either exacerbate or mitigate conflict. The final section explores emerging ideas about and alternative futures on how to govern natural resources. It looks at how the current governing processes can be strengthened and suggests new ideas that can link emerging global normative consensus with local realities in order to create effective institutional frameworks.