April 15, 2019
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Pedro Vicente, director at NOVAFRICA and professor at the Nova Business School presented the paper Does Information Break the Political Resource Curse? Experimental Evidence from Mozambique, which he did together with NCID resident fellow Alex Armand. Pedro says the motivation behind this investigation was to combat the idea that having natural resources is automatically a problem. Results show that with information about natural resources citizens become more optimistic regarding future benefits, whilst there is increased citizen mobilization and trust and there is a decrease in the likelihood of violence. However, if information is only given to local leaders there is more capture by state and elites. Mozambique found substantial amounts of natural gas in the Rovuma basin in 2010. That is located in the Cabo Delgado province, a remote and primarily rural area. However Mozambique has weak institutions and information doesn't reach its citizens, so it is dangerous. The region now faces conflict, which makes it difficult to travel to the area and follow up with the effects of the investigation.