Resources in Africa: Part Two

by Developed Africa 15. October 2013 09:00

Following on from yesterday's post, we continue to analyse the resource sector.

Aside from the debate about resource nationalism, it is evident that most reports at the moment show a strong amount of investment coming from China, but not only this, the investors are acting in a way which is beneficial to the African countries, as the Business Reporter writes: 

A new generation of African leaders has found it so much easier to strike deals with the Chinese because of their no strings attached approach, as well as the "in-return" infrastructure investments; the building of roads, airports, schools, hospitals and so on."

However, many would argue that this is still not enough, or at least not enough of what Africans really want. It would appear that they want Chinese investors (or any investors for that matter) to supply are more jobs. For example, an article from Reuters reported earlier this year noted that despite South Africa being the manufacturing hub of the continent, 40% of shoes come from China, in response to this:

South African President Jacob Zuma bluntly warned last year that such an unbalanced pattern of trade was "unsustainable""

Counter to this, many still believe that this is a far better option than investment which has 'strings' attached, like the investments from many Western institutions which add on democracy and governance requirements. Which is perhaps why the topic of African ownership of resources and control of how they are used has come to the fore. Investment is most definitely needed into developing Africa's resource supplies from foreign investors, but there is an argument that they should be investing into a sector that is weighted more equally, and is fairer to the host country.


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