Originally appeared on Devex, written by Karol Boudreaux.

If you want to see why natural resources matter for local-level democracy, look no further than Namibia.

Across this breathtakingly beautiful country, a remarkable social and economic experiment has been going on for nearly two decades: devolving rights to manage and benefit from the use of natural resources from the national government to rural black communities.

Empowering communities with a bundle of secure rights over natural resources has not only produced notable conservation and economic returns. It has helped build stronger, more representative governance institutions in a country that suffered under decades of oppressive colonial and South African rule.

Read the full post on Devex.