Africa finds itself at the epicentre of the global scramble for natural resources. It is known to hold about 30 per cent of world’s mineral reserves and produce more than 60 different types of minerals, metals, and ores. At the end of 2010, 17 of the 53 African countries produced and exported oil. Recent discoveries of oil in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Liberia have further raised the profile of the continent (Ramdoo 2012). While traditional Western development partners remain dominant in Africa’s extractive sectors, emerging economies have become major investors in, as well as consumers of, Africa’s natural resources. The abundance of natural resources offers immense opportunities if associated challenges can be mitigated. Appropriate policy responses to the rise of emerging economies in Africa are necessary to make sure that African people benefit from the scramble.
This policy brief examines emerging economies’ impacts on the governance and management of Africa’s extractive sectors in the short and medium terms. It proposes policy recommendations to ensure that the continent is not shortchanged in the scramble and resource rents are smartly invested for the benefit of African people. This brief is based on a longer paper that was presented at the NSI Forum on Governing Natural Resources for Africa’s Development, held on May 9th and 10th, 2013.