pp 1–18 | Cite as

Challenging formal accountability processes in community natural resource management in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Regis MusavenganeEmail author
  • Pius Siakwah


Africa is endowed with vast natural resources. It is equally labelled a cursed continent due to a plethora of conflicts emanating from the use and sharing of gains from these natural resources. For the past decades, accountability has been thought of as an anecdote to natural resources conflicts. However, these challenges have persisted across the Sub-Saharan African region. Using Ghana and South African communities, the study revisits the relationship between accountability of natural resources and community development with the aim to strengthen accountability processes in Africa. The paper revealed that accountability in natural resources management should extend beyond reports and opinions of the technocrats, bureaucrats, experts and political elites. We argue that accountability should be participatory, inclusive, and embody elements of trust and social justices. It therefore proposes the adoption of negotiated accountability, to strengthen the governance of natural resources in Africa. Negotiated accountability should holistically address four main accountability elements: the normative, relational, decisional and behavioural element.


Negotiated accountability Governance Participatory approach Inclusive community-based natural resources management Sub-Saharan Africa 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tourism, School of Tourism and Hospitality, College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.University of Ghana, Institute of African StudiesLegonGhana

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