Governance of Natural Resources in Africa

Governance of Natural Resources in Africa: Advancing a Qatari Perspective and Economic Diversification

This research initiative, having a natural resources governance focus, will assist in developing technical capacity and technological innovation to diversify into natural resource investments in Africa. Through knowledge generation and sharing, Qatar can potentially build a centre of investment for mining in the country and benefit potential investors and stakeholders. This project will thus help complement Qatar’s recently affirmed commitment to “development- centred globalization,” made at the UNCTAD conference in 2012. In short, it will help Qatar to draw on a roadmap to diversify its economic base from a reliance on oil/gas to other natural resources, including minerals, land and water resources in other regions and will allow Qatar to become a business hub in the Middle East and North Africa region.

This research initiative has four objectives:

  1. To evaluate Qatar’s potential for economic diversification;
  2. To analyze how soft power influence can be used to promote economic diversification;
  3. To inform diagnostic options for Qatari investment authorities to build up capacities of stakeholders in extractive industry-rich economies.
  4. To evaluate the role of emerging powers, particularly the Gulf states and Qatar more specifically in natural resource management/governance in Africa.

This research project and all associated research activities will be heavily tilted towards an institutional analysis of Qatari investment and the mandate for economic diversification. Therefore, issues of good governance, transparency and accountability will be the cross-cutting components in this research as it is believed that sustainable economic diversification comes with improved institutional settings. Therefore, the research project will underscore the issues of good governance, transparency and accountability as cross-cutting themes of all research- related activities. Also, this strategy parallels the strategic outlook of the Qatar Investment Authority which recently identified institutional investment in extractive commodities as a “key target” for Qatar’s own economic future. It will further complement Qatar’s aspirations as a rising economy, promoting political and economic stability as well as social cohesion in Africa.

Affiliation with the Centre on Governance

This initiative, which will span over the course of three years, is a collaboration between researchers at University of Ottawa's Centre on Governance, Qatar's Hamed Bin Khalifa University and University of Massachusetts, Boston. It is primarily funded by Qatar Foundation's National Research Fund.

It is only with the generous support of the Centre on Governance and the University of Ottawa that this project has been made possible. Building off the Centre's research mandate and the university's international development perspective, the above initiative seeks to explore the intersection of public, private, and community sector actors in the context of sustainable resource investment in Africa by external, emerging development actors including Qatar. As such, the initiative focuses particularly on questions of natural resource governance, thereby both complementing and broadening the Centre's unparalleled experience and expertise in this regard.

The documents, journal articles, policy briefs, and other publications presented here are the cumulative outputs and deliverables from this initiative. For more information, please contact the University of Ottawa's lead investigator, Professor Hany Besada at

Research Papers

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