It's called the paradox of plenty. African countries rich in natural resources such as oil, gas, diamonds, gold, and forests but the people live in extreme poverty.
In years past, Africa was always the outsiders’ cornucopia, the font of gold and diamonds, slaves and minerals, cotton and rubber and, more latterly, oil.
These days, the continent’s riches draw a new cast of prospectors and predators, but the question is the same: who benefits — the people, or a coterie of political and military elites that has sunk deep roots in Africa’s postcolonial loam, fed and watered by foreign powers and investors?
Some people have called it the paradox of plenty: across the globe, around 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals, according to an advocacy group called the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, or E.I.T.I. Those people should all benefit, the group said, but “when governance is weak, it may result in poverty, corruption and conflict.”