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[French Version]

The Challenges of Democracy and Natural Resource Management for Sustainable Development

by Gordon Abiama
Director, Africa Centre for Geoclassical Economics, Nigeria

In presenting this humble paper of mine, I shall reserve no apologies for Africa's ruling class, whether military or civilian. My experience with life, as with over 80% of the world's population is with the poverty end of the equation.

We live in an age when the accumulation of wealth is greatest, and by a few people while majority of the world's population is mired in abject poverty. And in course of the struggle to earn a living, the worst cynical form of hard-heartedness- 'every man for himself' has become the watchword, thus throwing to the winds the age-long African tradition of being 'your brother's keeper'.

Neo-classical economists and philosophers, in their attempts to proffer solutions to the gross imbalance in wealth distribution have tended to deal with the effect rather than the cause.

The Brundtlund Commission set up by the United Nations in 1987 defined sustainable development as follows "A sustainable society is that one that persists over generations, one that is far-seeing enough, flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine either its physical or its social systems of support". But current mainstream development methods and strategies have achieved anything but sustainable development, resulting in the present annoying maldistribution of wealth.

One of such erroneous theories is Malthus' assertion that "poverty appears as increase in population necessitates the more minute division of subsistence that population naturally tends to increase faster than subsistence".

But the infallible reality is that the Almighty Creator has endowed the earth with abundant resources to support all life comfortably. So the problem is not about scarcity of natural reso