China and Africa’s natural resources: the challenges and implications for development and governance

24 11 2009

URL: http://www.saiia.org.za/images/stories/pubs/occasional_papers/saia_sop_41_alden_alves_20090917.pdf. Source: South African Institute of International Affairs, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 2009.

China’s three decades of unbroken growth have transformed it from an economic backwater to the world’s third largest economy. This has fuelled an ever-expanding demand for energy and new markets. This paper proposes to analyse China’s growing engagement in Africa’s mineral sector and assess its impact on local governance. China’s energy concerns have been playing an increasingly crucial role in its foreign policymaking in the new century. Although other energy sources (such as coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, hydropower and alternative fuels) are inherent to this debate, oil is the top Chinese concern, since it represents China’s largest external reliance. In little over a decade, China went from leading Asian oil exporter to second largest world consumer (2003) and third largest global importer (2004).

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