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GeoJournal

, Volume 78, Issue 6, pp 997–1012 | Cite as

Diamond exploitation in Sierra Leone 1930 to 2010: a resource curse?

  • Sigismond Ayodele WilsonEmail author
Article

Abstract

This paper uses the resource curse hypothesis to explore diamond exploitation in Sierra Leone during the period 1930–2010. Focusing on national and local level analysis, it examines whether the net impact of diamond exploitation was a ‘resource curse’ or ‘blessing’ during four time periods: colonial and early post-independence era, the APC era, the civil war period, and post-war era. The paper argues that the net impact of diamond exploitation in Sierra Leone has not been constant; rather it has changed between resource blessing and curse over different major periods of Sierra Leone’s history and at local and national scales since inception of diamond exploitation. This paper illustrates that during the period 1968–1992 patrimonial politics undermined official diamond exploitation and significantly contributed to a pendulum shift in the net effects of diamond exploitation from resource blessing to curse. The study shows that the net effect of diamond exploitation was: a resource blessing (especially at the national level) prior to 1968; more of a resource curse during the APC era; a full blown manifestation of the curse during the civil war period; and that governance of the diamond sector has improved sufficiently in post-civil war Sierra Leone to start the gradual transformation of diamonds to resource blessing, at national and local levels.

Keywords

Diamond exploitation Resource curse hypothesis Resource blessing Patrimonial politics Diamond governance Sierra Leone 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rogers State UniversityClaremoreUSA

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