The challenge for Africa's resource- rich countries is not simply to achieve economic growth, but to achieve patterns of development that can be sustained beyond the current resource boom. Reliance on non- renewable mineral and fuel deposits is inherently unsustainable, in that deposits can only be depleted once. Resource-rich countries must find ways to transform these non-renewable resources into patterns of development that can be sustained economically, socially, and environmentally- even after the resources are exhausted. This study investigates how political institutions affect development and its sustainability in resource-rich economies. Do democracies perform better or worse than non-democracies? Do competitive party systems perform better or worse than dominant-party systems? In general, what kinds of political systems provide incentives for governments to use state power in ways that are conducive to sustainable and inclusive development? The study employs "nested analysis," combining cross-national quantitative analysis with four qualitative country studies: Zambia, Ghana, Mozambique and Namibia. The focus of the case studies is mainly on differences in sustainable development among competitive and dominant party democracies. The major differences among democracies and non-democracies will be examined in the statistical analysis.