7 Reasons Why Natural Resources in West Africa are Under- Utilized

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There is no shortage of natural resources in West Africa. But these natural resources in West Africa are seriously under-exploited.

I am about to give you the points you can expand to answer WASSCE Economics questions.

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This particular tutorial is all about the reasons why there is under-utilization of natural resources in West Africa.

WASSCE  Economics Questions and Answers Series (2020)

This Post is Part of a Mega WASSCE Economics Questions and Answers Series

Let’s have the points you need to answer the most likely WASSCE Economics questions.

This series of tutorials has just one focus. It’s all about WASSCE Economics questions based on causes, reasons or factors accounting for one economic condition or the other in West Africa.

Please note that we shall be using the two phrases “West Africa” and “developing countries” interchangeably.


Check the Nigerian Naira (NGN) equivalent of the Ghanaian Cedi (GHS). And other currencies too!

When you get to the end of this post, you must click on the link that will take you to the next or previous related post in the series.

Thank you.

Now you can have your points as to why natural resources in West Africa are under-exploited.

1. Scarcity of capital

For example, the equipment these countries need to exploit minerals like gold and petroleum are too expensive for them to afford.


2. Inappropriate technology

Due to factors such as ideology and the desire to cut cost, many West African governments end up acquiring the wrong technology for the exploitation of their natural resources.

3. Scarcity of skilled personnel 

We still have poorly-equipped educational systems in West Africa. They can hardly train the citizens in the skills needed to exploit and utilize the natural resources.

Also, it gets quite expensive employing the services of expatriates to do the work.

4. Poor infrastructure

The needed infrastructure, such as good roads and electricity, is still not up to the acceptable standards.

5. Political instability

Frequent, and often violent changes in political administration in West African countries have not helped matters. These social and political upheavals scare away potential investors.

6. Economic instability

Economic mismanagement is largely responsible for this.

High rates of inflation and astronomical interest rates continue to plague West African economies.

These do not promote the proper utilization of natural resources in West Africa.

7. Unfavourable terms of trade

West African countries continue to get unfair treatment on the world market. This relates to the selling and buying of produce from natural resources.

One reason for this is that a lot of the commodities are not processed.

At best, they only offer semi-processed, rather than finished or manufactured commodities. Raw cocoa beans, gold nuggets, raw coffee and diamonds do not attract good prices.


Causes of an Increase in Demand for a Commodity

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Ralph spends his day working as an online entrepreneur and e-learning strategist. As a digital publishing trainer/consultant, he has developed exceptional skills in SEO-content writing. He writes extensively on lifelong learning and personal development issues. Ralph is the CEO of RN Digital Media Ent - a digital publishing & content marketing services platform he founded in 2017.

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