• Natural resources play a dominant economic, social and political role in the lives of 3.5 billion people living in 81 countries. Africa alone is home to about 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, 10% of the world’s oil, and 8% of the world’s natural gas.

    The World Bank helps countries manage their natural resource wealth to help ensure it contributes to economic growth and reduces poverty. Strategic focus areas include: effective governance, increasing transparency and promoting inclusive growth while ensuring local community needs are met and the environment protected.

  • The Bank’s work in the extractives sector focuses on three main pillars that support the overall goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity:

    (1) Financial Sustainability: The Bank works with governments to strengthen fiscal regimes, remove subsidies, and improve tax administration and revenue transparency to build resilience to economic shocks and reduce the opportunities for the resource curse. It also helps implement structured financial solutions to de-risk private sector investments, strengthen enterprises, and reinforce public-private partnerships.

    The Bank also works with governments to develop effective management policies for oil, gas, and mining regimes. It starts with supporting capacity building for contract negotiation, and includes developing effective legal and regulatory frameworks, tax and royalty administration, and revenue management.

    To ensure effective and transparent revenue management in the extractives sector, the Bank supports the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) through technical assistance to countries working to publish and verify company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and minerals.

    By helping governments create an enabling environment, improve sector governance and lower risk, the Bank Group leverages large-scale private sector investment through the IFC, an organization focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.

    (2) Social Sustainability: For effective development outcomes, local communities must actively participate in extractive industries operations from the very beginning, leveraging the industry’s infrastructure, job creation, and small business opportunities to provide long term sustainable development. To that end, the Bank promotes inclusive growth, bringing together diverse stakeholders to ensure accountability and lessen adverse impacts on communities and the most vulnerable people, particularly in fragile areas.

    (3) Environmental Sustainability: The World Bank works closely with governments to develop strategic environmental and social assessments to anticipate sector-wide impacts and to incorporate environmental and social priorities into extractive industries’ policies and regulatory arrangements.

    Along with our core lending, analytical work, and knowledge products, the Bank administers Multi-Donor Trust Funds (MDTF) to achieve ambitious development goals:

    The Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) MDTF supports programs ranging from transparency and governance, to legal and regulatory reform, local economic diversification, strengthening institutions, and social and environmental sustainability.

    The Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR) is a public-private initiative comprising governments, oil companies, and international institutions working to end routine gas flaring at oil production sites around the world as a way to increase energy access, improve efficiency, and mitigate climate change. GGFR focuses on harnessing associated natural gas, to conserve it or put it to productive use rather than wastefully flaring it, which causes millions of tons of CO2 to be emitted.

  • The Bank is active in the extractive industries in about 70 countries and is the largest provider of extractives-related development assistance by a significant margin. Cumulative investment over the past decade is about $3.3 billion.

    Some examples:

    Afghanistan: The Bank is working closely with the government to ensure sustainable development of the country’s natural resources. This includes support for geological exploration, data compilation, and building the capacity of various government agencies to effectively manage resources. The Bank also helps manage ancient and treasured cultural assets around the Mes Aynak site.

    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): With World Bank support, women working across the mining sector in DRC are organizing themselves to establish a national network to advance gender equity.

    Ghana: Following Ghana’s 2007 discovery of oil and gas, the Bank has been helping Government to strengthen capacities of institutions to manage and monitor the extractives sector through the development of technical and professional skills in the petroleum sector.

    Guinea: The Bank is helping build systems and capacity to manage the country’s mining sector, including the development of major growth corridors around bauxite and iron ore mines.

    IraqIraq's Council of Ministers has formally adopted The Natural Gas Market Framework (NGMF), marking the first phase of an internationally benchmarked and transparent framework to allow private sector investors to capture, process, transport and commercialize natural gas. The reforms have the potential to bring $21 billion of private sector investment into Iraq and provide power to Iraqis who lack basic access to energy.

    Mozambique: The Bank is supporting mining sector reforms and sustainable development of new gas resources, including creating the enabling environment and building capacity for a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry.

    Nigeria: The Bank is helping the country substantially enhance the mining sector’s contribution to the economy, while strengthening key government institutions and fostering domestic investment in the sector.

    Senegal: The Bank is helping build capacity and providing support and technical advice to negotiate oil and LNG contracts to boost investments and foster sustainable gas sector development.

    Sierra Leone: The Bank is providing support for small-scale mining as well as operationalizing the entire regulatory chain for minerals.

    Togo: The Bank is helping streamline the institutional framework of key government agencies involved in the extractives sector to strengthen efficiency and accountability for effective management of the sector. The Bank is also helping artisanal and small-scale mine operators develop skills while raising awareness of sustainable mining practices in communities affected by mining operations.

    A new World Bank report says the continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will greatly impact demand for many minerals and metals in the years to come. The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future also says the shift to a low-carbon future will provide opportunities for mineral-rich countries, but they will need to ensure their long-term strategies enable smart investment decisions.

    The World Bank-managed “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” Initiative aims to end a 150-year-old oil industry practice where the associated gas produced with oil is wastefully flared at oil production sites rather than conserved or put to productive use. The Initiative commits governments and oil companies to (a) not routinely flare associated gas in new oil field developments and (b) to end existing (legacy) flaring as soon as possible and no later than 2030. As of April 2018, 76 governments, oil companies, and development institutions have endorsed the Initiative, accounting for well over 50% of global gas flaring.

  • To achieve sustainability goals and improved governance in extractive industries, which are important drivers of economic growth and poverty reduction in many developing countries, the World Bank has developed partnerships with a wide range of organizations in the sector. This helps align efforts, while also leveraging resources and expertise to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.



VIDEO Oct 26,2018

Closing Gender Gaps in Oil and Mining


In Depth


Zero Routine Flaring by 2030

This Initiative brings together governments, oil companies, and development institutions who agree to eliminate the practice by 2030.


Gender in Extractive Industries

Evidence suggests women often bear an unequal share of social, economic and environmental risks tied to extractive industry projects.


Telling the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Story

A definitive source of information on the global artisanal and small-scale mining sector.


Governance of Extractive Industries

A space for dialogue, innovation and collaboration for those working on extractive industries governance and transparency.

Additional Resources


Clare Murphy-McGreevey