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Linking natural resource dependence and access to water and sanitation in African countries

Sosson Tadadjeu, Henri Njangang (), Paul Ningaye and Mohammadou Nourou

Resources Policy, 2020, vol. 69, issue C

Abstract: Links between natural resources and public goods are of growing interest, both for researchers and policy makers. Previous studies on this relationship have focused mainly on the monetary aspects of public goods rather than the quantitative aspects, such as the number of population with access to safe drinking water and sanitation, particularly in Africa. Yet from many perspectives, safe drinking water and sanitation are arguably more important for African populations. This paper therefore investigates the effect of natural resource dependence on access to water and sanitation in 44 African countries, with data covering the period 1995–2017. Using the two – step Generalised Method of Moments (GMM), this study shows the negative effect of total natural resource rents on access to water and sanitation, both for the total population and for urban and rural populations, respectively. A U-shaped relationship between natural resource rents and access to water and sanitation is also established. Furthermore, we show that natural resource dependence increases urban-rural gap in access to these services. Taking into account the type of natural resources, we show that while the oil rent and gas rent reduce access to these two services, the forest rent increases access to water and sanitation. Finally, the results show that democracy plays an important role in mitigating the negative impact of natural resources on access to water and sanitation in Africa. In a nutshell, democracy can be an effective way to break the resource curse in Africa.

Keywords: Natural resources; Water; Sanitation; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O55 Q25 Q34 Q38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101880

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