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Participatory management of natural resources in Africa: an imperative policy direction for sustainable development

Sospeter Muchunguzi (Department of Official Statistics, Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 14 December 2022

Issue publication date: 29 March 2023




The quest for Africa's desire to achieve innovative and transformative ways in the use of natural resources and the implications this might have on people's lives for the present and future generations is now more critical than ever. This paper aims that in order to let African countries attain an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena, it is imperative that a coherent policy direction be set between individual countries and continental framework for participatory management of resources in order to address the global challenge of climate change.


This article employs literature review of various sources, to get a deeper understanding of the situation of management of natural resources for sustainable development within the global and African development agenda.


The literature review indicates that nearly 1 out of every 9 people on Earth go to bed hungry every night; there is a challenge of having access to safe and affordable drinking water; fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions drastically result into climate change; more than half the world's population lives in cities posing a challenge to affordable public housing, upgraded slum settlements and investment in public transport, creation of green spaces; every country in the world is witnessing the drastic effects of climate change; fish stocks are overexploited and oceans are becoming more acidic.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on findings from literature review, specifically in line with the global development agenda and African agenda on sustainable development. More studies are needed to include findings from Africa and elsewhere so as to get a clearer global perspective about resource exploitation and sustainability.

Practical implications

The work is expected to provide practitioners concerned with environmental conservation and development with the theoretical and policy gaps that need to be addressed when dealing with environmental management for sustainable development.


The review structures extant natural resource management literature and highlights its critical importance in development management research. Topical gaps in the literature are identified as areas for future research.



Muchunguzi, S. (2023), "Participatory management of natural resources in Africa: an imperative policy direction for sustainable development", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 704-720.



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