Resource nationalism drives fear in mining corporations. But the concept is not inherently negative. Most agree that a country with a significant mineral endowment should reap widespread benefits from its resource. But throughout Africa that is where agreement ends.

Norway is hardly seen as resource-nationalistic. Yet it should be labelled so: state ownership, high levels of oil taxes, and a world-leading fund that stabilises and diversifies the economy while funding a generous welfare system. This framework serves the people, and does so exquisitely well...

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