Africa's Oil and Gas Economies and the Quest for Sustainable and Inclusive Development: Investing in SMART Infrastructures Open Access
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Advancement in extractive technologies have led to massive discoveries of oil and gas in Africa, raising potential windfall revenues for countries like Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia. It has also resulted in discussions on how windfall revenues from natural resources should be effectively managed or invested. Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, has called for natural resource revenues to be invested in people to generate millions of jobs and opportunities for present and future generations. In this study, I take the unique perspective of encouraging oil-rich African countries to invest resource revenues in infrastructures. Specifically, I argue that to facilitate long-term sustainable and inclusive growth that can lead to shared national prosperity, oil-rich African countries must invest short-term revenues in SMART infrastructures, supported by an efficient and inclusive innovation system for development. In other words, the thesis argues that it is not only important that natural resource revenues be invested in infrastructure to propel societal development; it is critical that they be invested in infrastructure intelligently using the SMART principles. The elements of SMART Infrastructure are analysed using four case studies based on four types of infrastructure; water and sanitation (Ghana), transportation (Nigeria), energy (Angola), and information and communication technology (Uganda).