It is incredible how perspectives on Africa are fast changing. Much of the 20th century was dominated by contentious debates over the role of the state in promoting development, and that of natural resources, oil in particular, in assisting in that task. At the time, the predominant discourses were less concerned with the question of how Africa’s ‘petro-states’ (Karl, 1997) can utilise their petroleum resources for developmental purposes (Edigheji, 2010, p.11), focusing instead on ‘state failure’ and the ‘resource curse’— two heuristic concepts that justified international interventions and became synonymous to underdevelopment, conflicts, and bad governance in those states. Fast forward to the 21st century, Afro-pessimism has now been replaced by a more positive ‘African rising’ narrative, owing to record economic growth rates. Moreover, there is now broader acceptance of a state expanding role in development, including by those international institutions that previously advocated the abandonment of state-led development. These shifts are prompting a growing number of analysts to probe whether and how African states can make use of this new context to accelerate development and capitalist transformation.