Youthscapes of Change? Diamonds, Livelihoods and Extractive Industry Investment in Sierra Leone

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

1 Citation (SciVal)


Over the past decade, neoliberal reforms, soaring commodity prices and rising global resource demands have led to significant growth in extractive industry investment in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A surge of investment has triggered a variety of responses in mineral-rich communities—from outright rejection, to protest over labour conditions, to acceptance in anticipation of gainful employment. This chapter explores how changing global-economic patterns and processes are shaping livelihood opportunities for young people in resource-rich SSA. Drawing on recent fieldwork carried out in diamondiferous Kono District in Sierra Leone, the chapter provides an extended analysis of contrasting youth perceptions of, and responses toward, extractive industry expansion. The focus on youth, and its heterogeneity as a social category, has important policy implications and will improve understanding of the dynamics and diversity of livelihood strategies in resource-rich developing countries. This analysis is particularly critical in the case of Sierra Leone, where young people are playing important roles in rights-based mobilizations around mining, while at the same time having pressing livelihood needs in an employment-constrained economy. In illuminating the various factors underlying a diverse range of youth responses to extractive industry investment, the chapter concludes by reflecting on how youth perceptions of extractive industry expansion may also be influencing the ways in which mining companies understand and fashion their business and corporate social responsibility strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance
Subtitle of host publicationSustainable Development in its Embryonic Form
EditorsS Vertigans, S O Idowu, R Schmidpeter
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319266671
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Publication series

NameCSR, Sustainability, Ethics and Governance
ISSN (Print)2196-7075
ISSN (Electronic)2196-7083


  • Artisanal Miner
  • Diamond Mining
  • Extractive Industry
  • Mining Company
  • Social License

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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