Warding off the Oil Curse – Chad

Number 8 in the top ten things from Foreign Policy (see below) is this little gem:

Although the Boston Red Sox undid their curse in dramatic fashion, the West African country of Chad is quietly trying to undo the “oil curse” that plagues many developing countries. Chad became an oil exporter and in July received its first $38 million in oil revenues. Oil resources routinely fuel government corruption and civil conflict and undermine economic development. But, as part of a deal with the World Bank, which helped fund the pipeline that transfers the Chadian oil to market, 80 percent of the oil revenue will be spent on health, education, and infrastructure for its mostly poor population, and 10 percent will be invested for future generations. The government’s expenditures will face the scrutiny of a watchdog committee that includes individuals from civil society and government, and most of the money will be held by the World Bank in a London account to preempt graft. The arrangement may not work out—one nongovernmental organization already complained that the oversight board receives inadequate resources. But if it does, it could be a powerful model for other countries who are rich in resources and poor in everything else.