PurposeThis study aims to investigate the effects of mineral rents, conflict and population growth on countries' growth, with a specific interest in 13 selected economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.Design/methodology/approachThis paper uses a combination of research methods: the pooled ordinary least squares (OLS), the fixed effect and the system generalized method of moment (GMM). The consistent estimator (system GMM), which provides the paper's empirical findings, remedies the inherent endogeneity bias in the model formulation. The utilized panel dataset for the study spans from 1980 to 2022.FindingsThe study suggests that mineral rents positively affect countries' growth by about 0.407 percentage points in the short run. The study further demonstrates the long-run negative impacts of population growth rates and prevalence of civil war on economic growth. The empirical work of the study reveals that an increase in the number of international borders within the group promotes mineral conflicts, which impedes economic growth. Evidence from the specification tests performed in the study confirmed the validity of the empirical results.Social implicationsMineral rents, if well managed and conditioned on good institutions, are a blessing to an economy, contrary to the assumptions that mineral resources are a curse. The utilization of mineral rents in Sub-Saharan Africa for economic growth depends on several factors, notably the level of mineral conflicts, population growth rates, institutional factors and the ability to contain civil war, among others.Originality/valueThis study is the first attempt in the post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) era to revisit the investigation of the impacts of mineral rents, conflict and population growth rates on the countries' growth while controlling for the potential implications of the qualities of institutions. One of the significant contributions of the study is the identification of high population growth rates as one of the primary drivers of mineral conflicts that impede economic growth in the states with enormous mineral deposits in Sub-Saharan Africa. The crucial inference drawn from the study is that mineral rents positively impact countries' growth, even with inherent institutional challenges, although the results could be better with good institutions.

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