Horn of Africa Bulletin Vol 28 No. 4 July-August 2016
The extractive sector, mainly consisting of oil, gas and minerals, has great potential to contribute to economic growth. Extractives could be an asset but are also associated with a host of problems, including environmental degradation, conflicts, poverty, health problems, corruption as well as adverse impact on biodiversity, ecosystems and local communities. In this Bulletin Muhumuza Didas provides us with an overview of the extractive sector in general and in the HoA in particular. He discusses government legitimacy as a critical factor for the success of the extractive industry; the need for communal literacy on the nature of the extractives to manage expectations; engagement deficit and the need for a more responsible investment from the revenue accrued from the extractives avoiding the temptation of mega and impressionistic projects. The second contribution by Skovsted and Bamberger takes us to Somalia where oil exploration is exacerbating and complicating already existing conflicts and highlights possible mitigating policy responses. The third contribution by Kennedy Mkutu examines the political economy of oil exploration and discovery in the Turkana county of Kenya with a focus on impacts on local communities. Above all, there is a threat of dispossession of land of the Turkana pastoralists. The fourth contribution deals with the institutional framework and impact of the extractives on local communities in the Ethiopian context. The contribution by Asebe Regassa looks at extractives and the private sector through a case study of the Adola gold mining and how, despite its high profitability, it has adversely impacted on the livelihood of local communities expressed in the form of continuous land dispossession.